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first_imgIn planning for last year’s Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, a good friend of mine was very excited after we confirmed Hiss Golden Messenger, the critically acclaimed project helmed by North Carolina songwriter MC Taylor.As luck would have it, the guitar player (and North Carolina native) for Hiss Golden Messenger – Ryan Gustafson – was a pretty danged good singer/songwriter in his own right and my buddy Rob was insistent that we reach out and book a solo set for Ryan under his own project, The Dead Tongues.Rob was spot on with this booking. Ryan – with just his guitar – held an early Friday afternoon crowd spellbound with his songcraft. I caught a bit of the set at Cumberland Park, stretched out on the grass, and it was a moment of peaceful repose before I began an incredibly hectic festival weekend.Unsung Passage, the brand new record from The Dead Tongues, drops today. Joined by a score of collaborators, the collection of tunes has cello, banjo, and fiddle providing a delightful sonic backdrop to Gustafson’s stellar and soul plumbing songwriting.I recently caught up with Ryan to chat about the new record, hitchhiking, and some of his favorite songwriters.BRO – You have spent a lot of time backpacking and hitchhiking around the world. What is one thing you learned about yourself out there on your solo travels?RG – It helped me realize that I need people in ways I hadn’t realized. Some of those early moments in deep solitude and aloneness, or in times of vulnerability, taught me to open up to people more than I had previously and that really went on to deepen my relationships with those close to me and in the brief interactions I had with total strangers.BRO – How has playing and working with MC Taylor helped you as a songwriter?BRO – It can be inspiring to get into the other’s creative processes, particularly someone I respect, and I certainly found that to be the case with MC. One thing I took away from the time I spent with Hiss Golden Messenger, and MC in particular, is that you can’t put a timeline on any of this thing, not your career or your songwriting. Sometimes it’s going to take 25 years of touring to start making a living at it, whereas on the other end it might take a month to write an entire album. It’s not about the end of the line. It’s about the journey there. I can’t speak for MC and say that he agrees with that statement, but given the way he’s gone about his life, I bet he would, and that’s a concept he helped illuminate a bit more to me.BRO – Last great book you read?RG – The Argonauts, by Maggie Nelson.BRO – We are featuring “Won’t Be Long” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?RG – I think of it as a song about how we can lose ourselves in life sometimes. We can get lost in the fight, whatever that may be, and disconnect in ways. Also, it’s about the journey we’re all on, in some capacity, of not only trying to survive but figuring out what do with this life we have.BRO – IF you were to invite three other songwriters over for a pickin’ party, who would you invite?RG – That’s tough. Andrew Marlin, because he knows so many old-time tunes. Chance McCoy, because he’s such a vibey fiddler. And Julie Byrne, because her album Not Even Happiness gives me chills and takes me to a very deep, watery place.Friends and fans of Ryan Gustafson can catch him tomorrow evening at Pisgah Brewing in Asheville, as he celebrates the release of Unsung Passage. After that, Ryan is off to Europe, with a host of dates across the continent on tap.For more information on The Dead Tongues, some insight into the new record, or when Ryan and his band might end up on a stage near you, be sure to check out his website.Be sure to take a listen to “Won’t Be Long,” along with new tunes from Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs, Bishop Gunn, Keats, and The Promise Is Hope on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

first_imgMay 16, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Contaminated dry dog food contributed to a Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 70 people in 19 states in 2006 and 2007, many of them babies, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today.An investigation of the outbreak—believed to be the first human Salmonella infections linked to dry pet food—was conducted by public health officials from Pennsylvania and other states, along with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Findings appear in today’s issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).News of the outbreak came to light in June 2007 when PulseNet, an electronic network for sharing molecular data, identified Salmonella enterica serotype Schwarzengrund infections from a handful of states that had indistinguishable pulse-field gel electrophoresis patterns, according to MMWR.Initial interviews of patients from Pennsylvania who were sickened by the outbreak strain suggested exposure to dogs or dry dog food; 8 (62%) owned one or more dogs, and the other 5 had regular contact with a dog.Dog stool samples and dry dog food collected from some of the homes also tested positive for the same S Schwarzengrund strain. The two dog food samples that tested positive for the outbreak strain were both produced at the same plant in Pennsylvania, though there were two different brands.The last reported illness onset date was October 2007. Most of the 70 confirmed cases were patients from Pennsylvania (29), New York (9), and Ohio (7). Of 61 patients for whom the age was known, 24 (39%) were age 1 or younger. Among 45 patients for whom hospitalization status was known, 11 (24%) were hospitalized, but no deaths were reported.A case-control study suggested that four dry pet food brands were associated with Salmonella illnesses, and all were produced at the same plant. A Sep 4, 2007, CDC update on the outbreak said the contaminated dry dog food brands were produced by Mars Petcare, headquartered in Nashville.On Aug 21, the company voluntarily recalled two of its products that in an environmental investigation yielded the outbreak strain. One was 5-lb bags of Krasdale Gravy dry dog food; the other was 50-lb bags of Red Flannel Large Breed Adult Formula dry dog food. However, MMWR reported that some of the brands that were linked to illnesses were not included in the recall.”Because dry pet food has a 1-year shelf life and all contaminated products were not recalled, contaminated dry pet food might still be found in homes and could provide the potential for causing illness,” the CDC reported.The CDC said that, although an S Schwarzengrund source was never identified at the pet food plant, equipment may have been contaminated, or tainted ingredients may have entered the plant. Though the production of dry pet food usually involves heat treatment as the product is made, it is usually sprayed with a flavor enhancer such as an animal fat.A spate of Salmonella outbreaks in humans has been connected to handling pet treats such as pig ears or food snacks, pet vitamins, and raw-food diets. However, the CDC said the S Schwarzengrund outbreak is the first to be associated with dry pet food.The CDC advises people to wash their hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds after handling dry pet food, treats, or supplements to avoid getting sick from contaminated pet food. It also advises keeping infants away from pet feeding areas and making sure young children don’t touch or eat the items.CDC. Multistate outbreak of human Salmonella infections caused by contaminated dry dog food—United States, 2006-2007. MMWR 2008;57(19):521-4 [Full text]See also:Sep 4, 2007, CDC update on Salmonella Schwarzengrund outbreakAug 28, 2007, CIDRAP news story “Outbreak strain of Salmonella found in dog food”last_img read more