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C.F. Martin Sponsors VH1 Save The Music's “Thank a Music Teacher” Program

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 05:45:38 +0000

Nazareth, PA -- C.F. Martin & Co.® (Martin Guitar) continues to support music education by sponsoring the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. As part of a year-long celebration of 100 years of ukulele manufacturing, Martin Guitar has made a monetary donation and provided the Foundation with ten ukuleles to be used by music educators in schools throughout the country as part of VH1 Save The Music's "Thank a Music Teacher" program. "I had the pleasure of meeting Henry Donahue, Vice President and Executive Director and Chiho Feindler, Senior Director of Programs and Policy of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation during our advocacy efforts as part of a NAMM Music Education Advocacy D.C. Fly-In," said Cindy McAllister, Director of Intellectual Property and Community Relations for C.F. Martin & Co. "We knew that by making the connection between Martin Guitar and VH1 Save The Music, we could do something really sensational to support music programs in America's public schools." Beginning October 1st, 2017 and running through "World Teachers' Day" on October 5th, 2017 VH1 Save The Music shared thank you videos and photos from various schools that benefitted from Martin's contribution to the program, including Highland Park Elementary in Roanoke, VA, Duarte Unified School District in California, Charlotte Park Elementary in Nashville, TN, and John Marshall Elementary in Anaheim, CA. "Music is so important and it can have a very profound impact on a young person's quality of life," said Chris Thomas, Director of Marketing for C.F. Martin & Co. "Every child should have access to music education and we are proud to sponsor VH1's Save The Music Foundation." Founded in 1997, VH1 Save The Music was the first organization in existence dedicated to restoring music programs. Over the last 20 years, the Foundation has donated $53 million worth of new musical instruments to over 2,000 public schools in 257 school districts around the country-- impacting the lives of millions of public school students. This Fall, the Foundation delivered grants to 80 schools with plans to increase that number to 100 for the 2018-2019 school year. Get involved at www.vh1savethemusic.org and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @vh1savethemusic using the hashtag #SaveTheMusic. C.F. Martin & Co. ® (www.martinguitar.com) has been creating the finest instruments in the world for 184 years. They continue to innovate, introducing techniques and features that have become industry standards, while also remaining true to their legacy. Martin guitars and Martin strings are the choice for musicians around the world, from the icons of rock, pop, country, folk and bluegrass to those just beginning their careers. They can be seen across all segments of pop culture, from television to movies, Broadway, books, online, and gracing the covers of popular magazines on newsstands everywhere. Connect with Martin Guitars and Martin Strings on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and via www.martinguitar.com and www.martinstrings.com. Tags: C. F. Martin Guitar CompanySave The MusicThank a TeacherSponsorBusiness[...]



The Hillbilly Gypsies Heat up Carter Fold Dec. 2

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 05:39:04 +0000

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Hillbilly Gypsies – an old time band. Hailing from the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia, the Hillbilly Gypsies have been making and performing their own brand of old time bluegrass and original mountain music for over a decade. Formed in 2001 from a chance meeting at the now infamous Wednesday night old time jam in Morgantown, West Virginia, the Hillbilly Gypsies have been pickin' and grinnin' and entertaining their loyal fans ever since. The band is best known for their high-energy live performances, and they have become a crowd favorite at major festivals, fairs and concert venues all across the mid-Atlantic region and abroad. They perform in the old fashioned style, playing around a single vintage ribbon microphone. This "old timey" approach adds an authentic high-energy barn party atmosphere to their show. Watching the whole band work around the mic is like taking a trip back in time. It'll sure make you want to get up and dance! And don't let the flash of their lively stage performance and choreography fool ya. These folks are highly skilled musicians and seasoned entertainers. Their lightning fast, award-winning picking skills and musical arrangements mixed with natural comedic wit and high lonesome, mountain vocal harmonies are sure to catch your ear right away. Combine that with a knack for original songwriting and a strong passion for old time and traditional music, and this makes for an authentic and exciting musical experience that you won't soon forget. One listen and you'll know that you are getting the real deal! The Gypsies are more than a band – they are a tight-knit family, mindful of tradition but bold explorers of new and authentic styles of acoustic music and entertainment. Some notable highlights about the Hillbilly Gypsies include: members since 2005 and a crowd favorite at many IBMA promoter showcases. Featured on several nationally syndicated TV and radio shows such as Mountain Stage, Song of the Mountains, Woodsongs, Red Barn Radio, & the Wheeling Jamboree. Listed as the most innovative musicians redefining mountain music in West Virginia by the West Virginia tourism website – http://gotowv.com/. Voted West Virginia's best band by West Virginia Living Magazine – Best of West 2014 competition. Voted the best band in Morgantown, West Virginia by Morgantown Magazine. Winners of the DelFest Band Competition. Featured regularly at the historic Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, and mentioned in the New York Times for lively appearances there. Featured on BBC television in 2011. The Gypsies have played many major bluegrass festival events around the country including the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival, Delfest, Summersville Music in the Mountains Festival, the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, the OATS Bluegrass Festival, Mohican Bluegrass Festival, the Pickin' in Parsons Bluegrass Festival, Appalachian Uprising, the Rockahock Bluegrass Festival, the NEPA Bluegrass Festival, the Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival, the Homegrown Bluegrass Festival at Snowshoe, Bluegrass in the Hills, Mandolin Farm Bluegrass Festival, Smoked Country Jam Bluegrass Festival, Hickory Fest, and many more. Trae and Jamie Lynn Buckner, original founding members and lead singers for the band, are also husband and wife. In addition to playing all across the country for the last sixteen years together, the duo has performed internationally on multiple occasions. They have performed four times at the Al Ras Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival in Barcelona, Spain – headlining the festival's ten year anniversary. In addition to their Barcelona performances, they have played in England, Prague, the Czech Republic, Italy and Ireland. They recently traveled to Asia to perform in Thailand. Trae and Jamie Lynn not only represent the Hillbilly Gypsies, they represent American mountain music and the heritage and culture of West Virgi[...]



New Christmas EP “Shine” Available from Nu-Blu

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 03:07:43 +0000

(image) Christmas is our favorite time of the year! This year is extra special because we have the opportunity to share a few of our favorite Christmas songs, both sacred and secular on our first ever Christmas CD. Recording this project was an exciting, unique, and very emotional experience. The birth of our Savior is not only a time for quiet reflection, but also for great joy and celebration. That's what we have strived to convey for this wonderful season.

The lead single from the EP, Shine, was penned by award-winning songwriters Kristy Jackson (Take It Back – Reba McEntire) and Megan Conner (Rascal Flatts, Chris Young, The Swon Brothers). The title track tells a familiar story, with a clever spin, detailing the Saviors birth from the perspective of the star that marked his birthplace in Bethlehem.

Shine features five new recordings, all with a unique Bluegrass twist. Included on the project are Christmas classics like "Jingle Bells" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" as well as seasonal sacred tunes "Mary Did You Know" and "What Child Is This."

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Shine is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and other popular digital retailers nationwide, or stream it on Spotify, Pandora or other major streaming services!

(image) Nu-Blu is offering a Special Christmas Package for Shine that includes the physical CD AND a nice necklace. It's sure to make a great stocking-stuffer! Get your autographed copy of Shine along with a custom Shine Necklace. Complete with Certificate of Authenticity, the necklace and pendant are sterling silver with a genuine diamond. Limited number are available!




Hot Rize Celebrates 40 Years in 2018

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 03:54:00 +0000

(image) Hot Rize, one of bluegrass music's most beloved and influential bands, will kick off their 40th anniversary year-long celebration with a run of special SOLD OUT shows featuring special guests at the Boulder Theater. Since the Boulder Theater run sold out so quickly, they have decided to add a third date at the venue, tickets are on sale today. The three-night stand will be recorded for video and audio to be released throughout the year. The band takes to the road in January and February, touring the west coast and the northeast, and looks forward to a year of reaching new listeners as well as revisiting fans nationwide from its forty-year history.

In 1978, when Tim O'Brien, Pete Wernick, Nick Forster and Charles Sawtelle came together as Hot Rize, their chemistry generated an exciting and soulful new style of bluegrass, showcasing their formidable talents as instrumentalists, songwriters, and innovators. Grounded in the bluegrass traditions of artists like Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, and the Stanley Brothers, their musical tastes embraced other American roots pathways as well. Honing their sound in Colorado bars and small concerts, they were soon appearing on A Prairie Home Companion, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Grand Ole Opry, and European tours. The world was ready for Hot Rize -- and forty years later Hot Rize has left its unmistakable mark.

Their original songs are part of the bluegrass canon, their showmanship earned them the first-ever Entertainer of the Year award from the IBMA, and their "partnership" with Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers is...nearly indescribable. There is no other band like Hot Rize, and many bands that followed have cited them as a major influence.

Following Charles Sawtelle's untimely death in 1999, the band regrouped with bluegrass' reigning flat picker, North Carolinian Bryan Sutton on guitar. Since 2002, Hot Rize's unparalleled all-star lineup has held steady and continues to create new and inspired music.

Don't miss your chance this year to celebrate with one of America's most revered bands as they tour across the US.

  • January 12 - 13 - Boulder Theater - with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Del McCoury, Stuart Duncan and more to be announced.
  • January 14 – Boulder Theater - with special guests to be announced. Tickets on sale Friday, Nov. 17th.
  • January 17 - Triple Door, Seattle, WA
  • January 18 - Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR
  • January 19 - Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
  • January 20 - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA
  • February 15 - The Colonial Theatre, Phoenixville, PA
  • February 16 - Barre Opera House, Barre, VT
  • February 17 - Swyer Theatre @ The Egg, Albany, NY
  • February 18 - Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Framingham, MA
  • More dates to be announced soon.

For more information and to follow the growing tour schedule visit www.HotRize.com.




Clay Hess Signs with Pinecastle

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 03:24:02 +0000

(image) Clay Hess has signed with Pinecastle Records for an album to be released in 2018. The talented vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter won a Grammy award and was nominated for another during his time as a member of Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. He has since done stints with Mark Newton, Mountain Heart, and Sierra Hull. This upcoming album will be the second release with the Clay Hess Band lineup and Hess's first for Pinecastle.

Hess's solo project Rain had the title track appearing at #1 on the Bluegrass Today airplay chart. In a review of the album John Lawless of Bluegrass Today said, "Since first hitting the national bluegrass scene with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder in 1999, flatpick fans have recognized Clay as a superb soloist, especially at the ludicrous speeds Ricky took some of his numbers."

In a review in No Depression W.J. Hallock said, "Clay Hess is one of those triple threat musicians. He sings like no one else, he plays like no one else, and his songwriting can be deeply personal, but still universally appealing."

Hess endeavors as much as possible to make his albums represent what a fan would hear at a live show. This includes having his touring band on all his recordings. Band members are: Dustin Frame (mandolin), Brennan Hess (guitar/vocals), Brady Wallen (banjo/vocals), and Irl Hees (banjo/vocals).




Kristy Cox Releases “I Still Pray” in time for Christmas

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 04:12:26 +0000

(image) Willis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is pleased to announce the release of I Still Pray from Kristy Cox. "I Still Pray" is a track from Kristy's upcoming album due for release in 2018 and is the perfect sentiment for this special time of year.

Written by Australian born songwriter, Kasey Chambers, "I Still Pray" is right at home in the very capable vocal arms of fellow Australian, Kristy Cox. Here, listeners will enjoy Kristy's powerful, yet tender treatment of what will likely be one of bluegrass music's new favorite a cappella gospel songs. Joined by Donna Ulisse, Jerry Salley, and Josh Swift, this quartet melds perfectly, sweetly reflecting the subject of which they sing.

I Still Pray is available to radio programmers just in time for the Christmas season and may be downloaded via Airplay Direct or by emailing a digital download request to radio@mountainfever.com. Consumers may purchase I Still Pray through various digital outlets. Kristy's debut album for Mountain Fever Records will be available in 2018. For more information on Kristy Cox, visit www.kristycox.com or www.mountainfever.com.

From a young age, Kristy Cox captured plenty of attention with her distinct singing style and positive nature, resulting in opportunities to open shows for major acts and making regular festival and television appearances across Australia, Europe, and the US. In 2015 she was selected as an official showcase artist for the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) where she began drawing the attention of music industry professionals.

With a string of #1 hits on radio and country music television in Australia, Kristy has also made headway on the US bluegrass charts in recent years. Her last two projects, produced by Grammy® winner Jerry Salley, were very well received, with the latest making strong appearances throughout 2016 on multiple album and songs charts. 2017 kicked into high gear when she won "Bluegrass Recording of the Year" from the Country Music Association of Australia, and she also made the IBMA Awards second ballot in several categories.




Initial Lineup and Midnight Jam Announced for MerleFest 2018

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 03:27:48 +0000

Wilkesboro, NC -- MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the initial lineup for MerleFest 2018, which will be held April 26 - 29. The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The complete lineup for MerleFest 2018 will be announced over the next few months. Today's lineup announcement includes legendary artist Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Robert Earl Keen, The Devil Makes Three, Balsam Range and the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble, "Mission Temple Fireworks Revival" featuring Paul Thorn & Band, the Blind Boys of Alabama and the McCrary Sisters, and many more. The 2018 Midnight Jam presented by The Bluegrass Situation on Saturday, April 28th will start at 10:30 p.m. and run well past midnight, with special hosts Town Mountain and Jim Lauderdale. This very popular after-hours hootenanny gathers many performers from the festival for impromptu artistic collaborations and one-of-a-kind superstar jams that have become legendary in the festival’s history. Kris Kristofferson – Kris Kristofferson is a three-time Grammy winner who has recorded 30 albums, including three with pals Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings as part of the Highwaymen. Kristofferson has spent three decades performing concerts all over the world and achieved remarkable success as a country songwriter at the start of the 1970s. His songs helped redefine country songwriting, and by 1987, it was estimated that more than 450 artists had recorded Kristofferson’s compositions. In 1977, he earned a Golden Globe for Best Actor and has acted in more than 70 films to date. Kristofferson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and has been recognized with the Songwriter Hall of Fame’s prestigious Johnny Mercer Award, the Johnny Cash Visionary Award, BMI’s Icon Award, the Francis Preston Music Industry Award, the PEN Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Kristofferson is scheduled to play on Thursday. Jamey Johnson – Truth and tradition. These non-negotiable principles serve as the bedrock of the music of eleven-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson, who is “one of the greatest country singers of our time,” according to The Washington Post. Indeed, the Alabama native has been acknowledged by many as country music’s north star, guiding us down a path of confession and conflict to a place of reflection and redemption. He has received tremendous praise from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal and other publications, many of which have hailed his albums as masterpieces. His influential album, "That Lonesome Song", was certified platinum for 1 million in sales, and his innovative double album, "The Guitar Song", which debuted at No. 1 on the country album charts, received a gold certification. In 2012, he released a Grammy-nominated project honoring one of his heroes, Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran. He is one of only a few people in the history of country music to win two Song of the Year Awards – for “Give It Away” and “In Color" – from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. He has written singles for George Strait, Trace Adkins, James Otto, Joe Nichols and others. Johnson is scheduled to play on Friday. “Today, MerleFest is proud to announce more than 75 artists who are part of the festival’s 2018 lineup, commemorating the 31st year of the festival. MerleFest welcomes back five special artists that have played all 31 years: Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan, Joe Smothers, and Jack Lawrence. The initial lineup reflects the musical diversity and quality of performers who are the hallmark of the festival,” says Steve Johnson, MerleFest Artist Relations Manager. MerleFest is known for[...]



Cindy Baucom to Join Bell Buckle Radio Programming

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 04:47:45 +0000

Bell Buckle Radio is very excited to announce that Cindy Baucom's, "Knee Deep in Bluegrass" has joined their program schedule at Bell Buckle Radio. Bell Buckle Radio is an online internet radio station broadcasting from historical Bell Buckle,TN. The station offers a large range of music in bluegrass, classic country, folk, gospel and Americana. Bell Buckle Radio believes in a unique and customized experience when listening to music. Valerie Smith is owner of both Bell Buckle Records and Bell Buckle Radio. Valerie has developed a unique style and sound that has rocked the bluegrass world for almost two decades with a string of national and international tours, critically acclaimed recordings, and Grammy, IBMA and Dove Award nominations. Val's vocals are impressive. She has a staggeringly expansive range and the ability to portray an amazing array of emotion. As NPR radio host Dave Higgs, has noted, "She can be sassy, sultry, siren-like, sweet, smooth, soothing and smoldering---sometimes during the span of just one song!" Valerie Smith and her East Coast-based band, Liberty Pike featuring legendary Hall of Famer , Tom Gray on bass, are consistent audience pleasers and skilled musicians. When Valerie walks onstage with her fabulous band, expect to be inspired, amused and thoroughly entertained. For more than thirty years, Cindy has pursued her passion for Bluegrass Music as an award winning broadcaster, producer, promoter, singer, musician, writer, photographer and MC. Her national radio show, "Knee-Deep In Bluegrass", went into syndication in 2003 with distribution by the John Boy & Billy Radio Network. Now heard weekly in nearly a hundred radio markets, Cindy uses her knowledge of the music and enthusiasm to entertain and educate the listeners of her show. Cindy was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Bluegrass Music Association and served two, 3-year terms consecutively, including one year as the IBMA Board's vice-chair. She was producer of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 IBMA Awards Show at the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN. Cindy has been involved with Merlefest since its beginning in 1988 and started serving as MC in 1990. Her MC work has taken her to a variety of stages and venues over the years. She was producer on the 2011 Bluegrass release, "In A Groove" by her husband, Terry Baucom, bringing together some of the top names in Bluegrass for these recording sessions. She also produced the recording, "Never Thought of Looking Back", which yielded the 2013 IBMA Recorded Event of the Year, "What'll I Do", featuring Terry Baucom with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Steve Bryant, Wyatt Rice and Buddy Melton. She credits her early love for Bluegrass 100% to her father who played banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin and built stringed instruments. As a teenager she performed in a band with her dad and went on to work in other regional bands, singing and playing bass and guitar. She feels fortunate to have been presented the opportunities to promote the music she has loved all her life. Cindy's "Knee Deep in Bluegrass" can be heard Thursdays at 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST and again Mondays at 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM CST. Tags: Cindy BaucomBell Buckle RadioKnee Deep in Bluegrass[...]



Mountain Park Old Time Band Warms Carter Fold Nov 18th

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 03:45:20 +0000

Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, November 18th, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Mountain Park Old Time Band. Mountain Park Old Time Band was formed ten years ago as a group of friends who happened to enjoy old time music got together to have a good time. Over the past several years, the Mountain Park Old Time Band has been creating a stir in old time music circles. The group has five members, all of whom are very versatile and talented musicians. Nancy and Johnny Gentry played for years with the Whitetop Mountain Band. Johnny plays guitar, dobro, and fiddle as well as doing vocals for the band. Nancy drives the rhythm with her excellent bass playing. She and Johnny both teach music. Roger Stamper handles the fiddling for the group and he plays guitar and bass as well. C. T. Janney plays the washboard – an "instrument" rarely played today. C.T. also cuts a mean rug when he dances. Dr. Mark Handy plays banjo and does vocals – he's also a champion clogger. When he's not playing old time music, Dr. Handy practices medicine in Abingdon, Virginia, and helps to run his family's farm. Johnny also makes beautiful banjos. He made and donated a unique Carter Fold banjo that was given away at our 42nd annual festival in August to help raise funds for the Fold. It was truly a piece of art. A lucky gentleman in Austin, Texas won the banjo. The Mountain Park Old Time Band has played at the Blue Ridge Music Center, the Alleghany Jubilee, the Rex Theater, and at Bristol's Rhythm and Roots Festival. They have also been featured on National Public Radio. The group has released two CDs – Fire on the Dance Floor and Dancing with Sally Goodin. Mountain Park Old Time has performed at many Carter Family Fold shows and at our annual festival. Their group has become a Carter Fold favorite. Dr. Handy now serves on the Board of Directors of the Carter Music Center. We are fortunate to have his help and support and appreciate all he does for us and for old time music. Fans of groups like the Whiteop Mountain Band will love the Mountain Park Old Time Band. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes, and be ready for a night of down home fun. Nothing gets you out of your seat and on the dance floor faster than a rousing old time band. Don't miss the Mountain Park Old Time Band at the Carter Family Fold! For more information on the group, go to: http://www.mountainparkoldtimeband.com/. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, children 6 to 11 $2, under age 6 free. Tickets are available at the door. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. The center is family-friendly, and an alcohol and drug free facility. For further information, go to www.carterfamilyfold.org or our second site – www.carterfamilyfold.com. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed at www.carterfoldshow.com. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo. To speak to a volunteer Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676. If we don't answer you right away, we'll get back to you in 24 hours. Tags: Mountain Park Old Time BandCarter Family FoldConcertEvent[...]



The King James Boys Sign with Pinecastle for 2018 Album

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 03:30:04 +0000

(image) Gospel bluegrass band The King James Boys have signed with Pinecastle Records for an upcoming album to be released in 2018. The group began riding the circuit over 20 years ago and have recently had two songs on the Singing News Bluegrass Gospel Chart.

Legendary bluegrass gospel artist Paul Williams said, "I believe The King James Boys are the real thing, sincere, dedicated and committed to praising God through song and testimony, so... get ready for it, inspiration is on it's way from the first song until the last!"

Many radio DJs are already well acquainted with the band. WMMT Radio DJ Big Al Weekley said, "I was able to see the Boys perform live the first time at SPBGMA in Nashville last year where I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they sound just as good in person as they do on their recording. That's a rare achievement in any genre, especially bluegrass. I look forward to their next project with Pinecastle Records."

The King James Boys recently stopped by Pinecastle Record's headquarters to meet with Ethan Burkhardt and recorded an a-cappella performance video in the lobby.

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