Interview by Scott Preston
Dynamic on stage, down to earth off stage, Dan Tyminski has the voice, instrumental chops, and charisma to be counted among the most recognizable and popular male vocalists on todays bluegrass and country music scenes. Yet his demeanor low-key and laconically sly ensures that all the accolades are the product of his own innate gifts.
Since 1994, his ace instrumental skill (mainly on guitar, but also on mandolin) and burnished, soulful tenor singing has been a key component of Alison Krauss and Union Station, arguably the most visible and successful bluegrass band in the modern era. Prior to that, he rose to national prominence as a member of bluegrass favorite, the Lonesome River Band.
With Union Station on hiatus for most of 2008, Tyminski has formed a new incarnation of the Dan Tyminski Band, with whom he is currently recording a new album and preparing a national tour of festivals, arts centers, and listening rooms. This new edition includes longtime Union Station associate Barry Bales (bass), former Union Station and Mountain Heart member Adam Steffey (mandolin), sideman extraordinaire Ron Stewart (banjo, fiddle), and newcomer Justin Moses (fiddle, dobro). (from dantyminski.com)
Cincy Groove: I noticed you sang the song Man of Constant Sorrow in the movie “O Brother where art thou?” Do you know it was going to be such a big deal at the time?
Dan Tyminski: I was the George Clooney voice. I think the only person who thought it was going to be a big deal was the producer T Bone which as a producer is the position he has to take. It turns out he knew more than anyone thought.
Cincy Groove: I also saw that you released your first solo record around the same time as the movie came out.
Dan Tyminski: Actually my solo record came out just prior to the movie. I never meant to go out and do a solo thing. I had some time and some songs and the opportunity to make some music and thought it would be fun.
Cincy Groove: When you first started playing out was there a moment when you realized this is what you wanted to do for a living?
Dan Tyminski: I kind of knew I was musician from a very early age. I was told I was going to play music my whole life. I just felt deep down that being a musician was what I was supposed to be. I drove a Coca-Cola truck for about a year in Vermont before I moved away to play music. I’m certain there was a point while I was driving that truck that I said it doesn’t matter how much money I make playing music because it is something I was meant to do. I have had a dozen other jobs that have supported my music habit, but they all have been cast aside for the opportunity to play.
Cincy Groove: What do you like to do when your not playing music?
Dan Tyminski: That would be easy, easy, easy. I love to play golf. I spend more time than man should with a golf club in his hands.
Cincy Groove: Is there somebody that you really want to collaborate with?
Dan Tyminski: You know I got into this music thing without high expectations. I play because I love to play. I never dreamed I would get to work with most of the people I have got to work with. I don’t think theres really anybody still hanging out on that list. I have been blessed to meet, play and record and sing with a lot of different people. I don’t mean to sound cheesy but the group of guys I play with right now are my dream team. I couldn’t imagine wanting to play or sing with anyone else. I feel really lucky to have these guys with me, Adam, Barry, Ron, Justin.
The Dan Tyminski Band is:
Adam Steffey – mandolin
Barry Bales – bass
Dan Tyminski – guitar
Justin Moses – fiddle, Dobro
Ron Stewart – banjo, fiddle
Upcoming Dan Tyminski Band shows:
For complete show details and tour schedule visit Dan’s website: http://www.dantyminski.com
03/13/08 The Madison Theater Covington, KY
03/14/08 Don Rigsby’s Annual Homecoming Prestonsburg, KY
03/15/08 W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre Louisville, KY