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John Lombardo, founding member of 10,000 Maniacs, in 2015
|Born||September 30, 1952|
Jamestown, New York, United States
|Origin||Buffalo, New York, United States|
|Genres||Folk rock, alternative rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, producer|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass, vocals|
|Labels||Christian Burial, Elektra, Rykodisc, Geffen, Bar/None|
|Associated acts||John & Mary, 10,000 Maniacs|
John Lombardo (born 30 September 1952) is one of the founding members of the American alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs and one of the band's most influential members, writing much of its early material. He is also a member of folk rock duo John & Mary.
Called by the Buffalo News "a dominant force" in the Maniacs, Lombardo was in the group from its inception in 1981 until he left in 1986 after the release of their first major-label album, The Wishing Chair. Lombardo cited "creative and political differences" as his reason for leaving the band.
Lombardo formed the folk rock duo John & Mary with the classically trained Mary Ramsey, who played violin and viola for 10,000 Maniacs and sang backing vocals on the 1993 album MTV Unplugged. The pair made two recordings under the name John & Mary, Victory Gardens in 1991 and 1993's The Weedkiller's Daughter, called "a garden of shimmering delights" by the Atlanta Constitution. Both albums were released on Rykodisc and are out of print.
Lombardo returned to the Maniacs in 1994 after Natalie Merchant's departure, with Ramsey joining as the new lead singer. The duo released two albums with the Maniacs, 1997's Love Among the Ruins, which contained a cover of the Roxy Music song "More Than This" that did well in the U.S. charts, and 1999's The Earth Pressed Flat. In 2002, after leaving the Maniacs following the death of guitarist Rob Buck, John and Mary released The Pinwheel Galaxy and then Peace Bridge (2007) under the name John & Mary and the Valkyries.
Melody Maker called Lombardo "one of the very great tunesmiths and guitarists of our age", and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that he is "a fine songwriter whose adeptness at illustrating quiet desperation and rustic spirituality becomes more apparent with each listen".
Lombardo continues to perform regularly with John & Mary and has rejoined 10,000 Maniacs as a touring member, contributing to their 2015 album Twice Told Tales, performing on their 2016 live album Playing Favorites, and playing regular gigs with the band.
With 10,000 Maniacs
- Human Conflict Number Five (EP) (1982)
- Secrets of the I Ching (1983)
- The Wishing Chair (1985)
- Hope Chest: The Fredonia Recordings 1982-1983 (1990)
- Love Among the Ruins (1997)
- The Earth Pressed Flat (1999)
- Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure and Unknown Recordings (2004)
- Twice Told Tales (2015)
- Playing Favorites (2016)
- Live at the Belly Up (2017)
With John & Mary
With John & Mary & the Valkyries
- Peace Bridge (2007)