The band’s other Rose, banjo, mandolin and pedal steel player Charlie Rose, lent his rolling notes and soaring steel licks to the affair, enhancing the feeling of a sacred ritual being performed. Newly added touring percussionist Darren Garvey has shown great musical savvy in finding ways to enhance the band’s sound without changing the atmosphere that has won Elephant Revival a legion of fans across the nation.Guitarist and vocalist Daniel Rodriguez in particular seemed to be in fine spirits and even finer musical spaces, as his grins seemed to outnumber the notes he played. On tracks like “Spinning” and Sea Monster” he handled the lyrical duties with the same devotion to intonation he showed each chord and plucked note throughout the night. His partner in crime at the front of the band, however, stole the show with a bravura performance.Whether captivating the crowd while leading a reverential a cappella version of “The Raven,” coaxing haunting melodies out of a musical saw or driving the tempo with her stomp box, drums and washboard, Bonnie Paine did it all. Sharing the stories behind the mesmerizing music she revealed a slowly forming song cycle as the heart of some of her best loved compositions, promising delighted fans more in the series to come. Simply put, as Paine goes so does Elephant Revival, and as usual she went to the heart of listeners and immediately set up shop for the rest of the evening.The thunderous applause and heartfelt pleas for more kept the band from going too far before returning for a double encore that included the always invigorating ‘Grace Of A Woman” and it’s tribute to the power of women. In a band like Elephant Revival that so wonderfully blends the energy of the sexes, it is truly fitting to see them join their voices and skills together. In a male dominated field like the music industry, it is a welcome sign to see their brand of joy so well received by fans of all ages and genders. Elephant Revival has been winding their way down the Eastern seaboard, reverse tracking the path of the recent storms, bringing sunshine and positive vibrations to those in need. With a receptive crowd packing the Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA last night eager to hear their brand of transcendental folk music, the band was ready to preach to the choir and convert fresh fans to their cause. Over the course of a set of delicate musical passages and rip roaring sing-a-longs, Elephant Revival did all that and more.Armed with fresh songs from their latest release, Petals, the band played an eclectic set that saw each member take the lead and run with it. Whether it was fiddler Bridget Law calling the tune on band classics like “Single Beds Are Made For One” or bass player Dango Rose showing off vocal skills to match his throbbing intonations on “When I Fall,” the name of the game was parity. Openers River Whyless, from Asheville, North Carolina showed a remarkably resilient and musically dexterous spirit throughout their set. Problems with their gear forced them to abandon their set list and the stage itself to take a special fully acoustic approach to their material. While not a true representation of what this home spun and intriguing band is capable of, the audience was nevertheless taken with their can-do spirit. It’s certain that all those in attendance were charmed by their energy and will be eagerly seeking out the band in the future.
Jan 5, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – In an effort to expand the pool of antiviral drugs for influenza, the US government yesterday awarded a $102.6 million contract to BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Birmingham, Ala., to develop peramivir, a new neuraminidase inhibitor.The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in a press release, said peramivir has been effective against several influenza strains in laboratory studies. HHS said the contract will cover production of the investigational drug, phase 2 and 3 clinical studies, and validation of manufacturing processes.Research under the contract will include tests involving the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus and may include research on the possible preventive use of the drug, according to HHS. BioCryst officials said the drug has been shown to help animals survive H5N1 infection.”Antivirals are an important element of our pandemic influenza preparedness efforts,” said HHS secretary Mike Leavitt in the press release. “Our antiviral strategy includes not only stockpiling existing antiviral drugs but also seeking out new antiviral medications to further broaden our capabilities to treat and prevent all forms of influenza.”Licensed drugs in the neuraminidase inhibitor class are taken orally (oseltamivir) or by an inhaler (zanamivir). However, peramivir is under development as a parenterally administered drug, meaning it can be given through intramuscular and intravenous routes.HHS said a parenteral neuraminidase inhibitor may be particularly useful in hospital emergency departments for treatment of patients who have life-threatening flu. Parenteral injection could permit rapid buildup of peramivir to high levels throughout the body and allow treatment of people too ill to take medications by mouth, the agency said.In a news release, BioCryst said its laboratory tests have shown that peramivir, an inhibitor of influenza A and B neuraminidases, is more potent than currently available drugs in its class and is active against antiviral-resistant flu strains. The company said high doses of injectable formulations have been safely administered to healthy people, and the drug has been found to promote survival in animals infected with the H5N1 virus.At a BioCryst teleconference that followed the HHS announcement, Charles Bugg, PhD, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the contract allows the company to move peramivir as quickly as possible through clinical development.HHS said awarding the contract to BioCryst is part of a larger initiative to support the development of new treatments and vaccines that would allow the United States to respond quickly to a flu pandemic.Bugg said both the intramuscular and intravenous formulations of peramivir will go through phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. The intramuscular formulation will be tested against a placebo in outpatients, and the intravenous trial will likely test peramivir against oseltamivir in hospitals.Enrollment of patients for the phase 2 trials will begin this flu season in the United States, Canada, and Europe, Bugg said, adding that the company has identified sites in the southern hemisphere that could be used to fill this year’s phase 2 study groups or facilitate an early start on phase 3 studies. He said BioCryst is also identifying sites in Southeast Asia, where flu outbreaks occur year-round, that might be added to the study.Bugg said the HHS contract to develop peramivir is subject to an emergency use authorization that would allow the department to stockpile the drug before approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if clinical data show it to be beneficial.Jonathan Nugent, vice president of corporate communications at BioCryst, told CIDRAP News that the company hasn’t ruled out developing oral or inhalational formulations of peramivir in the future. He said the company couldn’t speculate on how long it might take for the drug to win FDA approval. HHS said the FDA has given peramivir “fast track” status, which would expedite the agency’s review of BioCryst’s application.See also:Jan 4 HHS press releasehttp://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2007pres/01/20070104a.htmlJan 4 BioCryst press releasehttp://investor.shareholder.com/biocryst/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=224367