WheelsWhen Alison Krauss decided to take some time off from bluegrass and tour with rocker Robert Plant, Dan Tyminski was faced with some downtime. Instead of cooling his heels, Tyminski—best known as the voice of “Man of Constant Sorrow” from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack—called on some old friends, including Union Station mate and bassist Barry Bales, Mountain Heart mandolin picker Adam Steffey, banjo stalwart Ron Stewart, and Blue Moon Rising’s Justin Moses, to cut a record and hit the road. Wheels, the Dan Tyminski Band’s June release, entered the Billboard Bluegrass charts at #1, and the band has been getting rave reviews for their live performances.———-BRO: How does a boy from Vermont get hooked on Appalachian music?DT: I had parents who were music enthusiasts. My parents went to a lot of fiddle contests and square dances, so any time there was live bluegrass or country music around, I got to go with them to hear it. And I spent a lot of my youth traveling from festival to festival throughout the summer. I made new friends and played music. I got to do that from the time I was six years old, and I still do it when I can now.BRO: You have been an integral member of Union Station for over a decade and now you are on the road leading your own band. How are those roles different?DT: The biggest difference is that off the stage there is a lot more responsibility with caring for band members, logistics, and making sure everyone goes to where they need to be. Once I take the stage, the roles are very similar. I want to make great music with the people I am on stage with.BRO: Compared to what you do with Union Station, are you flexing any different musical muscles with your band?DT: The stuff that this band does really focuses on the heart of what bluegrass is to us. We venture in more directions than Union Station, which has lot more pop flavor there and is not quite so centered in traditional bluegrass.BRO: Tell me about recording Wheels.DT: This record was born out of the opportunity to play with these guys. It wasn’t done with any particular theme in mind; we didn’t gather songs to express any certain views or opinions. The five of us just wanted to make music. With that in mind, we tried to find songs that suited us as a combination of players that were album worthy. If we are trying to say anything, it is that this is what we think bluegrass music is to us.BRO: I know that you are an avid golfer. What is more difficult—writing a classic bluegrass tune or sticking a five iron pin high?DT: That’s funny, because I’m at the golf course right now. I’ll be teeing off in about an hour. Both of those things are very difficult, but both are immensely rewarding as well.Catch the Dan Tyminski Band at the Three Sisters Music Festival in Chattanooga, Tenn., on October 4 and at the Richmond Folk Festival in Richmond, Va., on October 10-11.
Nov 10, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The current shortage of influenza vaccine has generated new support for proposed federal legislation introduced last January that would make the production of flu vaccine more financially attractive, according to sponsors of the bill.Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, announced recently that their proposed Flu Protection Act of 2004 has won endorsements from the American Public Health Association, the American Lung Association, and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).In a news release, Bayh and Craig expressed hope that Congress will act on the bill in its lame-duck session, which begins next week. They also said the number of sponsors for the bill has doubled to ten since the loss of flu vaccine from Chiron Corp. in October triggered the current vaccine shortage.Among other things, the bill directs the government to buy any flu vaccine doses that manufacturers can’t sell by the end of the flu season.”It’s a buy-back plan,” Meg Keck, a spokeswoman for Bayh, told CIDRAP News. “It takes away the economic disincentive that the manufacturers currently face if they produce a surplus. Right now they have to eat that cost.”The legislation, Senate bill 2038, also offers a 20% tax credit for the cost of building or expanding vaccine production facilities, Keck said. The measure also directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a contingency plan for dealing with future vaccine shortages and to run an annual public education campaign on the importance of flu vaccination.Bayh and Craig said they wrote letters to Senate leaders and the Senate Appropriations Committee urging them to take up the legislation so that appropriate steps can be taken in time for next year’s flu season. “The plan is ready, the support is growing—Congress needs only to act to protect the American people from another flu season nightmare,” Bayh said in the news release.Keck said the bill was introduced last January in the Senate Finance Committee and the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. She noted that last year’s flu season arrived early and concern about vaccine supplies had died down by January. The bill remained in committee because “there wasn’t a sense of urgency at the time,” she said.Keck said she is not aware of any particular opposition to the bill. “I think it’s a straightforward, fiscally responsible way to make sure we won’t have another flu vaccine shortage,” she said. She noted that Craig is the only Republican sponsor or cosponsor of the bill.Bayh’s news release said the legislation also calls for increased government-industry cooperation to provide accurate estimates of the amount of vaccine needed each year and authorizes funds to encourage the creation of more vaccine producers.The bill calls for the CDC director to contract with manufacturers each year to produce the amount of vaccine the CDC thinks will be needed. If any of that supply remains unsold by the end of the flu season, the CDC would pay for it at a mutually negotiated price, the bill specifies.Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson has said he supports the idea of a government guarantee to buy flu vaccine in order to protect manufacturers from losses if the demand for vaccine is overestimated. Phone calls to HHS to ask about the department’s position on Bayh’s bill were not returned in time for this story.A companion bill, HR 3758, has been introduced in the House by Rep. Rahm Emmanuel, D-Ill., and has 13 cosponsors.See also:Library of Congress’s Thomas site for information on and text of Senate bill 2038 (search “S 2038”)http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.html
Image courtesy of WoodsideAustralian LNG player Woodside Energy signed a long-term gas sale and purchase agreement (GSPA) with Alcoa of Australia for the supply of up to 36.4 PJ of pipeline gas.Supply will commence in 2020 from Woodside’s portfolio of domestic gas facilities, including the North West Shelf, Pluto and Wheatstone, the company said in a statement.Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said, “In addition to our foundation domestic gas business which supplies from the North West Shelf, Woodside will be able in coming months to deliver domestic gas from our Pluto facility and from Wheatstone.”He added that Alcoa is Western Australia’s largest user of natural gas in its alumina refineries.Coleman also noted the new supply will provide energy consumers with even more choice in an already robust and well-supplied market.