A revered singer-songwriter and musical icon of the 90’s known for her time fronting 10,000 Maniacs (“These Are Days,” “Trouble Me”) as well as her subsequent multi-platinum solo career (“Carnival,” “Jealousy”), Natalie Merchant makes her long-awaited first appearance in Rockport. She’s touring off the release of her 10 CD box set The Natalie Merchant Collection.
A Note from Natalie:
“I’ve reached a point in my career of wanting unique experiences on tour, of not settling for the predictable routing and venues. Last July, Erik and I had a very pleasant experience touring the United Kingdom as an acoustic duo. This Summer, we’ve decided to do a tour of New England following the same format as last year, steering clear of big cities and playing unique and intimate venues in small, picturesque towns. We’re looking forward to seeing the rocky coast of Maine, the green rolling hills of Vermont, the historic village squares and white steepled churches of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut. I imagine we will meet many locals and visitors seeking the same sort of experience that we are and I expect the audiences and the settings will inspire us.”
Natalie’s career began in 1981 when, as a college student, she joined the seminal alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs, which signed to Elektra Records in 1984. As lead vocalist, lyricist, and sometimes pianist, Merchant released six critically acclaimed studio albums with the band, including the platinum-certified In My Tribe (1987), Blind Man’s Zoo (1989), Our Time in Eden (1992), and the multi-platinum MTV Unplugged (1993), which became the band’s most successful release as well as one of the best-selling in the Unplugged series. She left the group in 1993, and in 1995 released her multi-platinum solo debut, Tigerlily, followed by the platinum Ophelia (1998) and Motherland (2001). In 2003 she independently released an album of traditional and contemporary folk music, The House Carpenter’s Daughter, which also coincided with the birth of her child.
In 2010, Merchant returned with a thematic double album, Leave Your Sleep, her debut for Nonesuch Records. In 2014, Nonesuch released Natalie Merchant, her sixth solo album and first of entirely original songs in thirteen years, which the New York Times called a “set of dark, brave, thoughtful, and serenely startling songs.” Merchant remains dedicated to a wide array of social justice and environmental causes. Recently, she spearheaded the making of the protest concert film Dear Governor Cuomo (2013) with New Yorkers Against Fracking, actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, and filmmakers Jon Bowermaster and Alex Gibney, and she directed and produced SHELTER: A Concert Film to Benefit Victims of Domestic Violence (2014).
In 2017, Merchant came out with The Natalie Merchant Collection—a deluxe ten-CD box set comprising ten discs, including all eight of her solo studio albums from the past three decades. A ninth disc, Butterfly, was a new studio set featuring four new songs and six reinterpreted selections from her catalog, all arranged for string quartet.