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Blues Festival Guide

December 30, 2011

Volume 6/Issue 51


Special Announcements

Isaiah B. Brunt : EP

Record Label News

Buddy and Hopkins

Roots Blues Airplay Charts

About Us

CD & DVD Releases

News Flash

Blues Society News

House of Blues Radio Hour

Festival Calendar

Special Announcements

CD & DVD Releases

Dave Keller : Where I'm Coming From

Dave Keller’s newest CD, Where I’m Coming From, is a deep soul gem. Produced by Bob Perry (Wu-Tang Clan, Brian McKnight, Foxy Brown), with backing from The Revelations, the music sounds alive and full and super funky -- like Hi Records around 1969, but with the clarity of modern recordings. It even features Keller singing a duet with acclaimed soul singer Tre’ Williams.


Unlike Keller's previous all-original recordings, this one brings to light obscure soul treasures first recorded by O.V. Wright, Arthur Alexander, Bobby Womack, and other soul greats. Particularly dear to Keller's heart are songs by Otis Clay, with whom Keller has performed, and Robert Ward, who was a close friend.


Keller’s previous CD, Play for Love (2009), reached #8 on Roots Music Report's blues chart, and received airplay on over 200 stations in the U.S. and abroad. He earned glowing reviews in Blues Revue, Vintage Guitar, and many other print and online publications. named him one of six young blues artists to watch in 2010.


With the release of Where I'm Coming From, Dave Keller reaches into the past for inspiration, while establishing himself as a leading voice for the future of soul music.



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Toronzo Cannon : Leaving Mood

FEATURING SPECIAL GUEST CARL WEATHERSBY. Growing up in the shadows of Chicago's blues mecca, Theresa's Lounge, had a lasting effect on Toronzo Cannon. He'd listen to the raw, soulful sounds of legends like Junior Wells, Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters. This led him to pick up his first guitar as a teenager and learn to sing and play the sounds he heard. Inspired by the 3 Kings (Freddie, B.B. & Albert), a little Hendrix and some 70s R&B/Soul, Toronzo soon developed his own powerful, gospel-flavored vocal style and electrifying stage presence.


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Isaiah B. Brunt : EP

For decades Isaiah has been a top Aussie production guy and studio owner who's worked with Julio Iglesias and his orchestra, the Goo Goo Dolls and rehearsed American Idol's Randy Jackson and his band for their Australian touring. Not only has Isaiah been behind the board for globally upper echelon bands, he's been a go-to sideman for bands touring down under like the time he hit the road in Sydney aiding Keanu Reeves band Dog Star.


All the while he was working with synthetic and packaged music, Isaiah always knew where his heart lay. The same place it was when he first heard his father strum the Ukulele, blow harmonica and unleash the lap steel.


Isaiah was the 2010 Sydney Blues Society Performer of the Year and some of you may have caught him at last year's IBC. Probably the best dressed cat in Memphis and good enough musically to be one of the very few to be reviewed

in the /Memphis Daily News/.


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News Flash

Etta James Family Reach Settlement On Estate


RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — The husband and sons of terminally ill “At Last” and “Tell Mama” blues singer Etta James have reached a deal on managing her $1 million estate and medical care. 


The 73-year-old singer’s doctor disclosed last week that James is terminally ill with chronic leukemia, dementia and kidney problems.


Her adult sons Donto and Sametto had challenged the decisions of their stepfather Artis Mills, who married the singer in 1969 and is the estate’s conservator.


Donto James asked a Riverside County judge to appoint him temporary conservator. But The Riverside Press-Enterprise  says Monday’s agreement keeps Mills in place as conservator.


At issue was the amount of money available to Mills for the expenses and care of the singer. He wanted $500,000, while the sons wanted it capped at $100,000.


The judge set it at $350,000.



Free BMA Nominated Record For All Blues Festival Guide Readers 

For a very limited time only Greg Nagy is giving away his 2010 BMA Nominated Disc "Walk That Fine Thin Line" for absolutely FREE!



The entire record may be downloaded via a link at his website and takes only a moment. You don't want to miss this wonderful opportunity!  


Three quick and easy steps:

1) Just visit 

2) Click on the yousendit link located in the news section on the front page

3) and then choose "download files to my computer."

It's just that easy! Oh and be sure to tell all your friends about this great giveaway before it ends. 




"...Nagy has the stuff to get noticed beyond the Midwest. There's psychological depth and narrative momentum to his singing, and his blues guitar playing rings true in a personal way, even when in the spirit of Albert King or Jimmy Johnson. In addition, Nagy's songwriting is studded with winning connections to blues, r&b, soul, gospel, jazz, rock, country. The pan-stylistic title track is richer than a creme de cacao..."

-Frank-John Hadley 



A delightfully melodic and charismatic musical declaration, 

Walk That Fine Thin Line is Greg Nagy at the top of his game; 

this debut is going to be hard to top."

Mark Uricheck


Feb 2010


"Greg Nagy is a master of pulling glistening, flawless, funky grooves out of his guitar." 

Elmore Magazine  


"....Great record!" 

Brett Fleming 


Memphis, TN  


"...Greg Nagy has put together a complete package as singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer, band leader, and fulfills each role with talent and confidence as he walks that fine line of the complete artist. " 

Roger and Margaret White 

Big City Rhythm and Blues  


"...With a voice so natural for the blues and guitar playing that stands amongst the finest anywhere, 

that fine thin line is a mile-wide when it comes to Greg Nagy. Outstanding! Highly recommended!" 

Gregory Johnson 

Cascade Blues Society Portland, OR 


"Best CD of 2009!" 

Tom Holland 

(guitarist for James Cotton) 


"Greg is simply a FEROCIOUS guitar player, who manages to draw from a deep well of influences and inspirations 

without really sounding like anybody else...." 

Jeff Konkel 

Living Blues Producer of The Year 

Owner of Broke and Hungry Records 

2009 BMA Recipient 


"...Greg can play anything he wants to guitar wise, but it's his voice that's heart stopping... On She's My Baby [from Walk That Fine Thin Line] you hear him at his most authentic. 

A little Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel all rolled into one." 

Jeff Paris 

Multi Instrumentalist/Singer/Writer 

Keb Mo, Rod Stewart, and more... 

A&M / PolyGram staff songwriter for 18 years.



Whether you’re a foot tapper or a head banger, It’s time to get your grove on at the 2012 Phuket International Blues Rock Festival.


(Thailand) Now in its seventh year, the ever-popular two-day event has found a new home amongst the tropical gardens and serene backdrop of our destination resort. The Festival is a charity event, with funds donated to Patong Beach Rotary Club’s children’s education fund.


Come and enjoy the unique sounds of some world-renowned musical acts, including headliner Chris Thomas King. A blues singer and guitarist, Louisiana-based Thomas King has sold more records and appeared in more successful films than any other blues artist this century. His music appeared on the Grammy-award winning soundtrack O Brother, Where Art Thou and King found crossover fame as a successful actor in the Coen Brothers film opposite George Clooney. Of the songs on the movie’s Grammy-award winning soundtrack, King’s Hard Time Killing Floor Blues was the only one recorded live during filming. The soundtrack reached number one on the billboard charts and has sold over ten million copies. Over the past ten years, the talented King has featured in over a dozen Hollywood films, including the Oscar-winning Ray in which he played the band leader Lowell Folsom and scored the film’s Grammy-award winning music alongside Ray Charles himself.


Other acts set to fire up this year’s event include Rich Harper (USA), John Meyer (Australia) and AkashA (Malaysia), all returning by popular demand. We’ll also be welcoming Irish girl rocker Grainne Duffy to the line-up. The highly accomplished Duffy and her band will be the first Irish contribution to the Festival, as yet another country is added to the list of international performers. Several local Phuket-based acts will also appear in what is bound to be a glorious weekend of great food and lively entertainment at Laguna Phuket.


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Dam Jam Heats Winter Weekend

Racky Thomas


DAMARISCOTTA,ME — Rockland's not the only coastal community that dedicates a weekend every summer to the blues. For the past four years, the Dam Blues Jam has been held the first Saturday of August, offering a day of performances, a nighttime club crawl and a lower-key wrap-up the following day. And for the past several winters, there has been a January Dam Jam to keep the blues faith in the off season.


The fourth annual Dam Jam will take place Saturday, Jan. 7 at the Wells Hussey American Legion Post 42, Main Street/Business Route 1, from 3 to 8 p.m. Admission will be $10, $5 for students.


"This event was created with the intent of keeping the blues music alive with the youth of Midcoast Maine and to give our community a chance to help and support these youths in that quest," said Paul Sidelinger, founder of the Dam Blues Festival.


Net proceeds from the Dam Jam go to a local high school musician who is particularly enthusiastic about  playing the blues and is looking to continue his or her education in music, perhaps with dreams of making in the music business. Sidelinger said Dam Blues wants to make sure that high school musicians have an opportunity to enjoy and learn the history of American blues music from some of the best blues musicians in our area.


"With this event, we can ensure that the blues torch will get passed on from generation to generation," he said.

The funds can be used for college application fees and/or music lessons. Last year’s winner was 16-year-old Ben Chute, an aspiring guitarist from Nobleboro. At the 2011 Dam Jam, Chute and three other students formed the Ben Chute Blues Band for their first ever public performance. In the audience was Kevin Kimball, co-founder of the Maine Blues Festival in Naples. He was so impressed by their potential, he invited them to play at his June festival, as their first paid gig.


Practice, determination and hard work has led Chute’s band to the Maine Blues Festival, the Dam Blues Fest and Pub Crawl, a couple of weddings and private parties and several club shows.

The Ben Chute Blues Band, which includes this year's Dam Blues Jam beneficiary, Lincoln Academy student Nick Phinney, will open the Jam, followed by Jacks and Aces. That band includes Zack Pomerleau who, after wowing the 2010 Dam Jam went on to win the Maine Blues Society’s annual Road to Memphis contest to represent Maine at the International Blues Challenge.  


Like last year, the Dam Jam featured act will be Racky Thomas, bluesman extraordinaire from Boston. Thomas will be backed by some of Maine’s well-known bluesmen including Stevo Bailey (from Black Cat Road) on guitar, Don Whitcomb on stand-up bass, Bub Lynch on drums and Dave Wells on sax. The Racky Thomas Band is known for its authentic and energetic interpretations of traditional blues and the down-home feel of its original compositions. The band carries a reputation as a crowd pleaser everywhere it goes, and Thomas is always pleased to come to Midcoast Maine.


Vince Gabriel of Blind Albert Sound and Recording will provide the sound and mix. Damariscotta River Grille, King Eider’s Pub, the Newcastle Publick House, the Narrows Tavern and Annie O’Rourke’s will supply delicious wares; and Geary’s Brewing of Portland will provide great tasting brews. There will be CDs, T-shirts and other merchandise for sale, as well as door prizes, a 50/50 raffle, meet and greets and more. Dancing shoes are a must.


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Alan Lomax and the Original Social Network










Alan Lomax, circa 1942. Courtesy

of the Association for Cultural Equity


(Tim McDonnell/ In an age where Justin Bieber can skyrocket to the highest heights of pop consciousness thanks to a couple well-placed YouTube videos, we've forgotten how hard it once was to spread popular music to the populace it described. In the 1930's and '40's, while Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, and others were crafting the folk songs that laid the foundation for uniquely American styles like rock and roll and the blues, they mostly sang in obscurity to local audiences in the country quarters where they lived. Recording equipment was bulky, fragile, and expensive, and those who could afford access to recorded music were listening mostly to European imports and early jazz. Thus, the music that best captured the lives of workaday Americans could only be heard by lucky locals in small-town dance halls and living rooms.  



Enter Alan Lomax, an upstart folklorist who in his early teens began to accompany his father John on expeditions across the country, recording the songs of poor farmers, prisoners, bar musicians, and others whose music would otherwise have faded like a melody in the wind. Lomax's road stories are captured in a book by Columbia University musicologist John Szwed's Alan Lomax. 


Lomax was born on the outskirts of Austin in 1915, into a family that worked on the fringes of Unversity of Texas academia; his father made his career collecting the songs of Texas cowboys. Until his death in 2002 at the age of 87, Alan Lomax produced thousands of field recordings, many specifically destined for the Library of Congress, and was the first to "discover" Guthrie, Lead Belly, Pete Seeger, Jelly Roll Morton, and Son House, among other folk musicians revered today. They were progenitors of the singer-songwriter type we know so well today, leaving an incalcuable impact on everyone from Bob Dylan to Kurt Cobain to Jack White.


But the real import of Lomax's work goes beyond bringing backwoods folk singers into the limelight. At the heart of his mission was a fervent belief in the democratizing effect of folk music. The real point of lugging recording equipment over praries, swamps, and mountains was to capture the voices of "miners, lumbermen, sailors, soldiers, railroad men, blacks, and the down-and-outs, the hobos, convicts, bad girls, and dope fiends," and bring their stories, wrapped in song, to the ears of middle- and upper-class whites. America "was hungry for a vision of itself in song," Szwed writes, and Lomax was determined to feed it.


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Blues Archives gets memorabilia of Mayfield, Fulson

OXFORD — The memorabilia of two legendary bluesmen has found a home in the Blues Archive at the University of Mississippi, thanks to two patrons who generously donated the materials.


Thousands of items once owned by singer-songwriters Percy Mayfield and Lowell Fulson were donated by Mick and Molli Kolassa to the archive housed in UM’s J.D. Williams Library.


The collection includes a variety of items, including handwritten lyrics penned by Mayfield, photographs of the various musicians and family members, correspondence, contracts and much more.


Kolassa, founder and chairman of Medical Marketing Economics, LLC, said, “It was the last wish of Tina Mayfield, who was married to Mayfield and romantically involved with Fulson before she died, for these items to be permanently located here. I’m pleased that I was able to fulfill her desire and add yet another outstanding collection to the archives’ world-renowned repository.”


Among Percy Mayfield’s best known songs are “Hit the Road, Jack,” which was recorded and made popular by Ray Charles, and “Sugar Mama/Peachy Papa.” Fulson’s major hits include “Reconsider, Baby,” which was covered by Elvis Presley and Eric Clapton.


Tina Mayfield donated a collection of materials related to Percy Mayfield in the 1980s. She discussed donating the remainder of both her late husbands’ materials also, but passed before she had the opportunity to do so.


“Someone else purchased Tina Mayfield’s estate,” Kolassa said. “At the urging of Michael Upton (UM Foundation development officer), I bought it from him and gave it to the archive.”


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Alligator's Bruce Iglauer among Chicagoans of the Year


(Greg Kot/ Each year the Chicago Tribune recognizes a handful of Chicagoans as its artists of the year. This year, Alligator Records founder Bruce Iglauer is among them. Here's why:


The Chicago Blues Festival reserved its final night last June for a birthday party: homegrown label Alligator Records was turning 40.


Tough West Side blues was played by Eddy Clearwater, Lonnie Brooks shouted “Sweet Home Chicago” like it was more than just an obligation, and Shemekia Copeland roared – even without a microphone, she projected to the back row of seats fanning out from the Petrillo Bandshell in Grant Park. Behind the scenes enjoying it all was the label’s founder and do-everything-guy, Bruce Iglauer.


It was a rare moment for Iglauer, allowing himself to briefly acknowledge what he and his staff and countless artists have built over four decades. Then it was back to work. A few weeks ago, the blues devotee who started his label out of his North Side bedroom in 1971 was talking excitedly about a couple of his latest signings, including Joe Louis Walker, whose forthcoming album, “Hellfire,” sounds like one of the best in his career.


Iglauer has launched or resurrected numerous careers in his tenure, releasing classic albums by artists including Copeland, Brooks, Koko Taylor, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, Son Seals, Luther Allison, Corey Harris, the Holmes Brothers, Mavis Staples and Charlie Musselwhite.


Though the music industry has been hit hard in the last decade, Alligator has continued to release a steady stream of music – more than 250 albums – and pay out $500,000 annually in royalties to its artists. Iglauer has done everything from producing recording sessions to writing press releases, and remains a tireless proponent of a style of music that captivated him at an early age and never let go.


In a city that is home to dozens of independent labels, only Delmark Records has a longer track record than Alligator. Iglauer was working at Delmark when he first saw Hound Dog Taylor; he was so determined to record the blues guitarist that he cashed in a $2,500 inheritance and started his own label at age 23.


Before he worked his way into the nationwide distribution network that he has now, Iglauer would sell albums out of his car trunk. His faith in Taylor was amply rewarded when “Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers” went on to sell tens of thousands of albums. It not only helped pay Taylor’s rent for years to come, it effectively put the label on the map and broadcast its approach: “clean recording of dirty sounds,” as Iglauer once said.


The challenge for Iglauer now is how to keep the label healthy with sales of recorded music declining annually and blues commanding less than 1 percent of the American market. Yet, even after 40 years working nearly every day, he remains an enthusiast. Thoughts of retiring or working for the ACLU take a distant back-seat to blues advocacy. He long ago knew that running a blues label consigned him to a lifetime of tip-toeing on the brink of insolvency. But Iglauer has always seen a greater mission: providing a support network for life-affirming music that might not otherwise be heard.


“Somebody has to be a patron of the arts below a certain economic line,” he told the Tribune earlier this year. “That is our role. Koko (Taylor) used to say, ‘never curse the bridge that took you across.’ We need to be that bridge for a lot of artists.”








Video of the Week

Blues of People -  "Higher Ground" played all around the world!



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and then there is this........


Golden Loves Guitar



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Record Label News


 Raisin' Music proudly announces the debut release of  Heritage Blues Orchestra



Produced by Grammy-nominated producer Larry Skoller, recorded by Jim Caruana at Excello Recording Studio, Brooklyn, NY and mixed and mastered by Blaise Barton at JoyRide Studios in Chicago, IL,


From the first of the twelve tracks on their debut album "AND STILL I RISE", Junior Mack’s propulsive rendition of Son House’s "Clarksdale Moan", Heritage Blues Orchestra unapologetically stomps onto the scene and digs in with both heels—taking us from Bill Sims’ hard-shuffling

version of the immortal Muddy Waters classic, "Catfish Blues" to the solemn dirge of Chaney Sims’ interpretation of Leadbelly’s, "Go Down Hannah" to magnificent three-part harmonies against a slippery slide guitar in their head-nodding version of "Get Right Church."


From the grit of low-down country and urban blues to the bold brass of New Orleans; from the hand-clapping, hustle and bustle of gospel to fiery postmodern, jazz-infused horn arrangements; from the haunting cries of work songs to pulsating drums that reach back to the roots of it all— "AND STILL I RISE" is an inspiring testament to the enduring

power and boundless beauty of African-American music.






Joan Osborne To Give Fans The Blues Next Year


( Osborne will release her new blues-inspired album, Bring it on Home, on March 27, 2012 via Saguaro Road Records. Here is the official word with the details: Joan Osborne recalls how "Blues music rescued me when I was in need of rescue."


On her newest album, Bring it on Home, Joan returns the favor and it's the blues that gets new life. Drawing from a voice the New York Times called "angelic ecstasy and sexual abandon," Joan Osborne has at long last made an album of vintage blues, R&B and soul songs.

A collection of some of her favorite classic songs, Bring it on Home is Osborne's tribute to the music she has long loved and drew inspiration from. "I knew that, someday, when the time was right and my voice was ready," Osborne says, "I wanted to make a recording like the one you're holding now." With vocals that growl and soar, Osborne alternately cries out with heart-wrenching soul and foot-stomping grooves.


"The voices of Otis Redding and Al Green soothed a troubled soul, the power of Etta James and Tina Turner gave me courage, and the depth of feeling of Muddy Waters and so many other great blues artists allowed me to find and express my own depths," explains Osborne. "When I began to sing in New York City in my early 20's, I wanted nothing more than to model myself on these people, to inhabit the music as they did in some small way."


She personally selected the obscure gem "Roll Like A Big Wheel" from her own record collection and added rock n' roll-fueled urgency to it. She also dug deep into John Mayall's work and came back with "Broken Wings," where her vocal performance draws both goosebumps and tears. The often overlooked Ike Turner-penned "Game of Love" was another treasure Osborne chose to record, and during the sessions an impromptu rendition of "Shake Your Hips" made its way onto the album. "Shake Your Hips" is the lead track off of Bring it on Homeand will be shipped to radio stations in January for airplay.


Bring it on Home also includes tracks originally made famous by American blues masters such as Sonny Boy Williamson ("Bring it on Home"), Muddy Waters ("I Want to Be Loved"), as well as recordings originally released by some of the greatest R&B singers ever including Ray Charles ("I Don't Need No Doctor"), Al Green ("Rhymes") and Otis Redding ("Champagne and Wine").


Bring it on Home was produced by Joan and her longtime music director/guitarist Jack Petruzzelli. It was recorded live in the Waterfront Studios in Hudson, NY by engineer Henry Hirsch (Lenny Kravitz), who used an original 24 track Studer tape machine to recreate the warm and organic analogue sound of the era. Guest musicians include Barbecue Bob Pomeroy (harmonica), Allen Toussaint (piano on his own "Shoorah! Shoorah!") and vocalists the Holmes Brothers and Rufus Thomas' daughter, Vaneese Thomas. Jimmy Vivino, Conan O'Brien Show Band musical director, assembled all horn arrangements and also played electric piano on "I Don't Need no Doctor."

Blues Society News

Buddy and Hopkins

Did you know that I do Custom Comic Strips and Comic Pages as gifts?

House of Blues Radio Hour





More on our radio and video streams can be found here.


For a list of stations where you can find House of Blues Radio


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Roots Blues Airplay Charts

Festival Calendar

To view our entire calendar of more than 500 festivals, click here!



List your festival with us for






More Info

Legendary Rhythm & 

Blues Cruise #18

Ft. Lauderdale, FL to San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, Virgin Islands & Philipsburg, St. Maarten, AN on the Holland America ms Nieuw Amsterdam

More Info

Winter Blues Weekend


January 6-7, 2012

Ellicottville, NY, U.S.

More Info

Luckenbach TX, Blues Festival


January 28, 2012

Luckenbach, TX, U.S.

More Info

 22nd Annual


Blues Bash


February 10-21

Charleston, SC, U.S.

More Info

Phuket International

Blues Rock Festival


February 24-25

Phuket, Phuket,


More Info

23 Annual Riverwalk

Blues & Music Festival


February 18-19

Fort Lauderdale,

Florida, U.S.

More Info

Boquete Jazz

& Blues Festival


March 1-4


Chiriqui, Panama

More Info



April 5-9

Byron Bay,

New South Wales,


More Info

Cairns Blues


Saturday, May 12

Cairns, Queensland,


More Info

River & Brews

Blues Fest


June 8-9

Red River,

New Mexico, U.S.

More Info



Saturday, June 30


Northern Territory,


More Info



Saturday, Jul 7


Massachusetts, U.S.

More Info

Your Festival


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About Us

RBA Publishing Inc is based in Reno, NV with a satellite office in Beverly Hills, Florida. We are woman owned and operated.


We produce the annual Blues Festival Guide magazine (now approaching our 10th year), the top-ranking website:, and this weekly blues newsletter: The Blues Festival E-Guide with approximately 28,000 weekly subscribers.


We look forward to your suggestions, critiques and questions!


Reach the E-Guide editor, Gordon Bulcock,


Contact our home office to find out how to advertise on this newsletter 775-337-8626.


Information - both editorial and advertising - in the Blues Festival E-Guide - is believed to be correct but not guaranteed - so check it carefully before you attend any event or send money for anything. We do not write the news... just report it.

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