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January 30, 2008           

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Hey Blues Fans,

This has been a busy week for us! We are getting ready to head to Memphis Thursday for the International Blues Challenge. 160 Blues acts and three days! So much Blues, so little time! Tough job but hey, someone has to do it!  CLICK HERE to see a list of the bands.

If all goes as planned we will report the winners after the finals this Saturday in a late night Blues Blast "Extra" edition. We are excited but we still took time this week to catch some Live Blues before we left.

We made it out to Po Boy's in Peoria IL Saturday to catch New Orleans musician Rockin' Jake.  The Band performed some high intensity swamp Blues with Jake blowing like he had three lungs! You know what they say about "If it plays in Peoria it will play anywhere." Well Rocking Jake was a hit in P-Town so make sure you make it out to see him when he plays in your town!

We feel lucky to be located in the Central US.  OK, so snow is a drag but there is always a great Blues show within an hours drive or so. This past Monday we couldn't resist the 60 minute drive to the The Alamo in Springfield, IL to see Jim Suhler and Monkey Beat from Texas at the
Illinois Central Blues Club's weekly Blue Monday show.

Blues Blast reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker kept saying these guys were awesome and he was right on as usual. Well worth the drive! (James Walker thought so too as he also made it to the show and he lives two and a half hours away!) 

The Alamo music usually starts at 8:30pm and Monkey Beat started right on time with Jim playing slide on a metal bodied dobro. They played for 3 hours straight and had the crowd of about 110 screaming loud, clapping and whistling as they gave the band's  performance a boisterous standing ovation right there in the pub! Shades of Luther Allison!

If you are not familiar with this Texas band you ought to be.    CLICK HERE to see more pictures of the Blue Monday fun.


Blues Reviews anyone?  We've really got lots of 'em for you again this week.  It looks like our reviewers are trying their best to whittle down the piles of CD's we have been receiving.  They have cranked out 4 more Blues CD reviews for you this week!

James Walker reviews Chainsaw Dupont's Ghost Kings of Beale Street, Rob Paullin tells us about the new CD from Jerome Washington Express, Live – San Luis Obispo Blues Society Show, Ben Cox puts in another double duty week reviewing a new CD by Teeny Tucker, Two Big M's and also reviews a CD by Richard Ray Farrell & Marco Pandolfi, Stuck On the Blues.  

Our Chicago Editor Lordy tells us of his newest Blues Club "find" when he reviews a performance by Barrelhouse Chuck and Gerry Hundt at Moe Joe's in Plainfield, Illinois. Support the Blues by seeing a live show in YOUR area!

 Blues Link of the Week

Big City Rhythm and Blues Magazine is one of the best Blues print magazines in existence. Their coverage of contemporary Blues is fantastic. Their publisher  Robert Jr Whitall  has one first class magazine and a clearly evident passion for the Blues. He works tirelessly to support the Blues. Check out their website and support the Blues by signing up for their fine publication.

For more Blues links  CLICK HERE to visit the Links Page

If you know of a COOL Blues link, please send it to

 Streaming Blues Link of the Week

WGLT FM 89.1
GLT BLUES 24 X 7  Normal, IL

 CLICK HERE to listen to WGLT's Blues 24 X 7 Blues stream now!

We have featured WGLT's  Blues 24X7 before in the Blues Blast back in May of 2007. Blues DJ Delta Frank has had a live Blues FM radio show on WGLT on Friday and Saturday nights for more than 25 years! To see a Blues play list on their website CLICK HERE

WGLT took the initiative to be one of the first Public radio stations in the US to begin streaming their live shows on the internet. Their live stream allowed Delta Frank and WGLT's other Blues programs (and their weekday Jazz programming) to be heard live by Blues fans in Europe, Australia and elsewhere around the globe using their computers.

If that were the end of the story it would be a great stream on the weekends for Blues fans. But that is NOT the end of the story! The next big step for WGLT was to offer a pure Blues stream to internet Blues listeners 24 X 7 and they went online with that last spring.

We have reviewed a bunch of streaming Blues music links since then. While there are many great ones we have featured, we find ourselves keeping our computers tuned to their Blues stream most of the time. Simply put, WGLT's Blues stream is still THE BEST we have found so far!

Check out other great Blues Music Streams Click HERE

 Other IMPORTANT News   Help Save the music! CLICK HERE to Keep Blues Radio Alive!


Featured Events


MARCH 19 to MARCH 23rd
Coral Bay Ball Field – Coral Bay

Tab Benoit
Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band
Waylon Thibodeaux
Sean Carney & The Sean Carney Band

For further information contact Steve Simon at 340-693-8120  or go to

6 live Blues shows over 5 days beginning on March 19th and running through March 23rd.


 Featured Blues Reviews 

Chainsaw Dupont
Ghost Kings of Beale Street

Blue Warrior Records # BLW003

By James “Skyy Dobro” Walker
15 songs; 64:36 minutes; Meritable
Memphis music

Consider two different musicians: both listen to and learn from the masters. Both are talented enough to become able to make their own music that is distinctly theirs. For one, his music is what it is. For the other, he is so gifted that his music is whatever he wants it to be. The latter description is Mississippi born, Chicago resident David “Chainsaw” Dupont. Chainsaw can create his own music and doesn’t have to copy anyone. But, when he wants to pay tribute, in this case to a whole field of artists, he is so masterful that he can mimic style and use original songs, not just covers.

Recorded at famed Sun Studio in Memphis and Chicago’s Delmark Studios, this “enhanced” album (more info in your pc) delivers what the name suggests, songs inspired by the town’s legends: Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, BB King, Sam & Dave, Carl Perkins, Pops Staples, and Howlin’ Wolf. Across the 15 original songs, styles include: Blues-rock, R&B Ballad, Slow Blues, Soul, Rockabilly, Gospel/Inspirational, Blues, R&B, Choral Blues-rock, Instrumental Blues-Rock, and Slow Jazz. This album is the third of a “Blues Street Trilogy” celebrating first Chicago blues (Lake St. Lullaby), secondly, New Orleans (Bourbon St. Breakdown), and now Memphis motifs.

Vocally Dupont has an enjoyable, mid register, real-deal sound, his guitar licks are tasteful and thoughtfully crafted for each song, guest artists abound like backup vocalist OnJaLee and plenty of horns by the Chain Gang – Brennan Connors and Julian Harris, tempos are mixed, productions range from sparse to full, and lyrically the themes are redemption and the renewal of faith.  

Standout tracks: “Sinners and Saints” is a ripping-tempo Rockabilly number with humorous lyrics (“Today’s sinners are tomorrow’s saints”) and a list of gone-too-soon heroes like Robert Johnson, Buddy Holly, and Jimi Hendrix. The inspirational “The Flood” begins slowly as one acoustic slide guitar under a solo vocal. It soon swells with electric autoharp, maracas, tambourine, and a chorus of background vocals urging, “get yourself [your soul] ready.” Blues fans can rejoice in “When It’s Sweet,” a six minute slow number with Patrick Dugan’s guitar trading classic fills with Chainsaw. 

There is such a wide sampling it’s practically eclectic. With no dark songs and a prevailing upbeat mood, there are bound to be songs every listener will like, if you can’t like them all. Even blues purists looking for a full blues album can focus on the main story here – the artists’ incredible competence in every style.

James “Skyy Dobro” Walker  is a noted Blues writer and Blues Blast contributor

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Teeny Tucker
Two Big M’s
TeBo Records

By Ben Cox
Run Time: 30:50

Imagine two of the most infamous female blues singers of all time jammed together into one disc, sprinkle in a little bit of a Memphis gospel icon, add some male blues royalty on top of that and you have the ingredients for Teeny Tucker’s lastest album “Two Big M’s.”

The two infamous blues singers are Big Maybelle and Big Mama Thornton, to whom the album is dedicated to and from whom most of the songs on this disc come from. The Memphis gospel icon I speak of is Mavis Staples, whom Tucker’s voice instantly reminded me of and brought to my mind, especially her younger days on Stax when the Staples Singers hadn’t quite crossed over to mainstream yet, and the male blues royalty I speak of is Teeny’s father Tommy Tucker.

Teeny has been in the international blues limelight since her debut at the Apollo in 1996. Teeny went on to form a blues band with 2006 IBC winner Sean Carney and subsequently finished in the Top 3 for three straight years before Carney broke away to his own band and success a few years ago. Teeny has since recruited a new guitar player and musical partner in Robert Hughes and beginning to forge her own way with this current disc that’s sure to be a favorite of 2008.

Teeny’s vocals blast loud and clear into a sassy gospel-tinged blues singer with the commonly overdone “Hound Dog” on track one, the signature of Big Mama Thornton’s catalog. However, with the spare and tight arrangement and Teeny’s sassy but pure vocal gift, the song is anything but tired. Teeny is one of the few gifted artists who can channel the feel of an artist she’s covering but still calling the songs her own. My personal favorite is the innuendo-laced “Bumble Bee” again from Thornton’s catalog. David Gastel adds some great acoustic harmonica rhythm playing as well as some accentuated and abrupt solos here and there, but never over the top and never fancy, just some good ol’ straight ahead blues.

Another song that will probably be immediately snatched up by radio is the infamous “Whole Lotta Shakin’,” which many know as a Jerry Lee Lewis signature. However, this is no Jerry Lee Lewis tribute and it sure isn’t a rock n roll album, either. Teeny & Co. break it down with a classic R&B almost Texas shuffle with some brilliant piano work by Vernon Hairston. Also, complimentary throughout the album is Robert Hughes less is more approach to the guitar. Never one to burn brighter than Teeny but he’s not a shabby compliment to her at all. In fact, Hughes chicken pecks around accents to Teeny’s vocals is what blues guitar should be about. Solos are swiftly in mood and lushly steeped in the tradition that these songs come forth from. In fact, Hughes reminds me of the young Buddy Guy in some parts from those Muddy Waters Band sessions that Big Mama Thornton recorded some of her more infamous sides.

With most of the tracks not running more than three and a half minutes, you might feel that the disc is here and then its gone. Meaning that you’ll probably be giving it more than one spin in your car or CD player trying to go back and find the little things you liked but missed the first time around. And, it’s just another tip of the hat to minimal arrangements allowing the songs and the musicianship not fall into the trap of being so relaxed that they become lazy. In fact, it makes the disk and those playing on it more brilliant and unbelievable by capturing the sound and feel and more importantly the groove in those three or so minutes. If you love traditional blues with a touch of the contemporary or a bit of an update, I highly recommend this disc to you.

Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Jerome Washington Express
Live – San Luis Obispo Blues Society Show

By Rob Paullin

A guitar, a bass—just ten strings—some drums and one voice singing into one microphone.  It may not sound like much, you would think, but when you listen to Live at LSO by the Jerome Washington Express, you’ll be amazed at what you hear.

The band, a central California coast mainstay for over a decade, consists of guitarist-singer-songwriter Drew Arnold, bassist Tyler Mitchell and drummer Jim Stromberg.  As good as Arnold is as a guitarist and singer, perhaps he is strongest as a songwriter.

The Express started their careers together in 1994 playing classic rock and blues in the San Diego area, and have since moved northward geographically and onward musically.  In the evolutional process, the have expanded their range of blues from Texas and Chicago sounds to the west coast, with some nice individual twists.

All but one song on this live CD were penned by leader Drew Arnold.   Here’s what we found:

The disk kicks off after a live introduction with “Baby Left This Morning,” the only non-original.  Arnold’s cryin’ guitar sets up this traditional-sounding blues tear-jerker.  Next on “Long, Tall and Fine, the slide guitar establishes the pattern for some Louisiana swamp boogie.  “Black Man’s Shoes” is another boogie blaster, this one about learning from the success—and failures—of others. 

If you like Hendrix, you’ll definitely enjoy listening to “River Song.”  The guitar work is definitely Jimi-style, and the vocal is not far behind.  “Traveler’s Song” also has a distinct Hendrix flavor to it.  It painfully describes how the livin’ is not so easy when a summertime breeze blows your baby away from you.

“Lady Chiva” is lyrically simplistic but is saved by some snappy guitar work and a nifty bass solo by Tyler Mitchell.

The tempo changes for “That’s Why I Love Her” and “Take My Blues Away,” two upbeat songs about the value and triumph of love, sometimes in trying times.

The Jerome  Washington Express kicks it back into high gear with “All I Need,” a song that describes how one can become a slave to the power—both spiritual and physical—of love.

The disk wraps up with “Layin’ on the Sidewalk,” a song that makes being down and out almost seem like fun, with guitar, bass and drum solos all expertly featured.

It’s obvious the Jerome Washington Express has been together for awhile, based on a tight blend that turns three instruments and one voice into an amazingly full sound.

Now, perhaps you are wondering who is Jerome Washington, since nobody in the band is named, Jerome Washington.  Leader Drew Arnold describes Washington as the main musical influence in his life, a man who befriended him and taught him guitar at age 11, when Arnold and his broken family moved into a new neighborhood in southern California.  Perhaps Jerome Washington is the subject of cut four, “Black Man’s Shoes”????

Native Illinoisan Rob Paullin has also lived in Memphis, Oklahoma City, Roswell, plus China and  Ukraine, but had never heard of San Luis Obispo.  It’s a town of about 40,000 people midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and just in from the Pacific coast.  Thought you’d wanna know….! 

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Richard Ray Farrell & Marco Pandolfi
Stuck On the Blues

Blue Beet Records

By Ben Cox
Run Time: 47:3

 After turning in one of 2006’s best acoustic blues albums with Steve Guyger, Richard Ray Farrell comes back with a different partner and a different approach on “Stuck On the Blues.” Farrell found his Italian-born harmonica master while on tour in Europe a few years back, and in Farrell’s own words put together this “long overdue” project.

Farrell handles all the vocal and guitar work while Pandolfi is his echo on the harmonica throughout. Remarkably, with one large ocean and thousands of miles apart, this duo sounds comfortably relaxed and sounds like they’ve been playing on each other’s front porch for years. Demonstrating a wide array of influences, Farrell & Pandolfi gives the listener every asset of acoustic, country blues one could imagine. However, at its best, the two players sound like they are just jamming together and having a good time. Placed up against the Guyger disc of last year, this album falls a little bit short in sound and inspiration.

With Farrell’s voice conjuring a John Hammond feel, four of the fourteen tracks are penned by Farrell himself with the rest coming from the wide array of influences. With only one song sounding completely out of place a little misarranged, there are a few gems to be found in the rough of this very relaxed album. The Lightnin’ Hopkins “I Once Was a Gambler” which Farrell notes he learned from Mississippi Hill Country Legend RL Burnside turns in some of the best guitar-harmonica coupling on the disc, with a low down and dirty rambling feel that suits any of Hopkins’ catalog. Another rambling show of genius is the Big Bill Broonzy cover “Make My Getaway” that as Farrell says demonstrates a lot of atmosphere and some great moaning rhythm harmonica from Pandolfi. Pandolfi also demonstrates some genius lending some Charlie Musselwhite-inspired jazz influence to the Blind John Davis cover “Honey Babe.” Farrell shows us his penchant signature on the oft-non-covered Robert Johnson tune “Phonograph Blues” by conjuring the brilliance and nuance of Delta guitar, but at 4:22 seems a bit too long and uncharacteristic of the source.

The only real fault I find in the disc is that it seems to lumber along a bit in the middle tracks and the players seem entirely too comfortable and are unchallenged. In a duo, often times the best compliment for the group is the push-and-pull feel created in the compositions. Pandolfi seems to wrap around Farrell’s work and doesn’t seem to add to it. However, one might say this is the object of his brilliance. Either way, if you’re a fan of acoustic blues this one is still worth giving a listen if not for the gems mentioned above but for the timelessness of the songs that have been chosen.

 Album is available on all major record outlets or visit Richard Ray Farrell at and visit Marco Pandolfi at his website at

 Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

 Chicago Blues Update

Live Blues reviews by Chicago Blues editor Lordy

Blues Beat: Chicago (Photos by August Lord)

Barrelhouse Chuck and Gerry Hundt at Moe Joe's in Plainfield, Illinois

My weekends are thankfully saturated with live blues music, for the most part from bars and similar late night venues. I am pretty much anti-social over any dinner time I may have, because my preference is to eat fast and get to the music. What a treat it was to be turned onto a great restaurant, that serves up live blues with its tasty Cajun dominated menu.

This newest addition to ChicagoBluesBeat’s list of preferred venues is Moe Joe’s in the Southwest Chicago suburb of Plainfield. The Bourbon Street atmosphere is a great setting for live blues music, and the dinners are worth the visit, even without the music. The specialty deserts where also dangerously good. Whenever I find a venue with great food, I use it to lure unsuspecting potential blues fans to the live music. I would encourage you to try this strategy. It works every time.

The featured performers where Barrelhouse Chuck on keyboards and vocals with Gerry Hundt on vocals, harp, guitar and mandolin. Barrelhouse Chuck is a Boogie-Woogie magician and he only added to the New Orleans atmosphere. Barrelhouse learned his craft directly from the piano masters and sprinkles his sets with anecdotes about those experiences. This also works well in a dinner show environment.

Barrelhouse Chuck is a very interesting fellow, with a treasury of memories that would make for a wonderful presentation in itself. Gerry Hundt is a talented multi-instrumentalist who is also one of Fliptop with Nick Moss, where he adds bass to the list. Currently, Gerry is nominated for a Blues Music Award for his special talents on the mandolin, and ChicagoBluesBeat certainly wishes this deserving young man the best.


 CLICK HERE to visit Lordy's website at

To see a Chicago Area list of upcoming events CLICK HERE

If you know of a Chicago Blues event or news, please send it to

 Featured Advertisers



An Exciting NEW CD from
Teeny Tucker - "Two Big M’s"


Bookings and Contacts
Paul Hoy - Class Acts Entertainment
614 358-1888 ext. 22 -

Robert Hughes - 614 488-2769

To purchase this CD go to




Reverend Raven

New CD


Rev Raven- Guitar, Vocals
Benny Rickun- Harmonica
P.T. Pedersen - Bass guitar
Spencer Panosh - Drums

To hear some song samples or purchase this CD now - CLICK HERE


Kilborn Alley Blues Band

New CD
"Tear Chicago Down"

Nominated for
"Best Contemporary Blues CD"
by the Blues Foundation

"From the opening chords and boogie beat
of the first track you know you’re in for
 some deep blues!"

 To purchase this CD now CLICK HERE or visit your favorite local music shop and support music in your neighborhood.


(To read the full review of this CD CLICK HERE.)


Our CD's - "HooDoo Blues" & "Its Gonna Be Alright

Top 100 CD's list for the last 9 months in Real Blues Magazine

Mr. B.B. King said of Malkum "This guy is marvelous. He has a rare talent".

“solid blues.. good shuffles.. good harp tone.. vocals have a lot of personality…the whole band plays with a lot of verve and good energy..” Bruce Iglauer Alligator Records and Artist Management

“Malkum’s harp sounds unique…across between Jr. Wells, James Cotton and Snooky Pryer…with Sonny Terry melodic passages. Malkum blows his face off.”  Andy Grigg Editor, Real Blues Magazine

Coast to Coast  Booking  by - Handlebar Productions
Oh Whata' Records

 Blues Society News

 Send your Blues Society's BIG news or Press Release to:  

Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA

Blues Artist Fruteland Jackson to Perform and Teach - Award-winning blues educator Fruteland Jackson will be in Quad-Cities schools and colleges the week of February 4-8 for a Blues in the Schools residency sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society .

Fruteland will also present two open-to-the-public f
ree performances:  Tuesday, Feb. 5—Bettendorf Library, 7 p.m. and Wednesday, Feb. 6—Mojo’s at the River Music Experience in Davenport, 7 p.m.

“Fruteland Jackson is a rare blues talent, and we’re lucky to be able to host him again,” says Ann Ring, chair of the MVBS Education Committee. “He’s one of our most-requested artists-in-residence, so we know area teachers and kids are looking forward to his visit.”

Reno Blues Society - Reno, NV

Mardi Gras 2008 - Mardi Gras will be celebrated on Feb 2nd, 2008 at the Holiday Inn on 6th St from 7-12. Doors open at 7, music starts at 7:30 with Blue Haven. The headliner is Mark St. Mary Blues & Zydeco Band. They will play 2 sets beginning at 9. Tix are $15.00 in advance $20.00 at the door. Costume party as always.

The Columbus Blues Alliance - Columbus Ohio

The 13th Annual Traditional Acoustic Blues Festival, Saturday February 23, 2008 featuring Honeyboy Edwards, Moreland & Arbuckle, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Cliff Starbuck & Colin John, Sonny Moorman, and more  Live acoustic music from 3pm – Midnight  Go to our website for all the information!

Illinois Central Blues Club Springfield, IL -  Blue Mondays

Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $2 cover  - February 4 - Deak Harp Blues Band     Feb 11 - The Groove Daddies      Feb 18 - The Sofa Kings - Feb 25 - The Todd Wolfe Blues Project - guitarist for Sheryl Crow 1993-1998


 Blues Want Ads

 Place Your Blues Want Ad here for FREE

Blues Drummer Wanted 

Milwaukee blues band; Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin Altar Boys is looking for a full time drummer for local and road work.

Band includes Madison Slim on harmonica and vocals. Need drummer that can play all traditional beats, from Muddy Waters to Slim Harpo, Junior Wells, Billy Boy Arnold, Eddie Taylor etc...

Job pays about $22k per year includes one meal per day on the road. Have independent label support, distribution with Burnside and national booking agent. If interested contact Rev Raven at

Gigs Wanted

Green Bay area Improv/Blues/Rock needs gigs. Must have wheelchair access to the stage and bathrooms. Please check out our site at;  If you want unique improv's with lots of energy, Hire this Act!! Jeffrey Smith  Ph. 920-989-2543

Equipment Wanted

2x12" Tuck Away Cabinet for a '62 Gibson GA 300 RVT amplifier. Contact Bob at


Musicians Wanted

Blues guy seeks to join a band, Can sing and play. By Kankakee, IL area. Have played professionally. Just moved here from Florida. 2nd guitar ok. I have a strat and a deluxe reverb. Anyone out there need help?  Craig - 219-992-9455


Place your WANT AD here for FREE. Buy or sell, musicians wanted, gigs wanted etc. Limit 500 words. All ads submitted will be used if space allows. If space is limited, a selection of ads submitted will be randomly selected to appear in the Blues Blast.

 Send your ad submission to

Live Blues Calendar


Performance dates were submitted by Musicians, Club Owners, Blues Societies and Blues festivals. is not responsible for errors or omissions.

CLICK HERE - for the Latest Complete Blues Calendar on our website at:

or click a state to see Blues shows by State

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Advertise in the Blues Blast in 2008!

With the new year, Blues festival promoters and Blues societies begin work planning a great 2008 Blues season for all. Festival committees are hard at work booking Blues performers, planning their advertising budgets and getting ready to put on the next great Blues show.

For those of you doing the planning for these great Blues events, remember that the Blues Blast &'s website are great ways to promote ANY Blues event or product. In fact we believe we just might have THE best Blues advertising vehicle anywhere to promote YOUR event!

For less than the cost of  one small display ad in your local newspaper, you can advertise your festival, club show, new CD or any Blues product to a VERY targeted Blues audience. We promise great results getting the Blues word out for you.

Blues fans WANT to know about your Blues event of product. Call Bob at (309) 267-4425 or send an email to for a confidential quote today! covers Blues all over the US - NOT just in Illinois! also offers paid/sponsored advertising for Festivals and Club Owners, Recording Companies and Performers selling their own music or performances. We can put your Blues advertisement on our homepage at:  either as a sponsored event or as a featured event, product, recording or merchandise .

Over 7000 Blues Fans, Musicians, Recording Companies, Club Owners, Blues Societies and Festival Promoters in all 50 states and in 12 countries read our weekly Blues Blast internet magazine. With paid advertising you can feature your event or product in the largest FREE internet Blues magazine.

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