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Banjo Maestro Ned Luberecki’s Take Five OUT TODAY, March 31, 2017

Featuring Guest Musicians:
Dale Ann Bradley, Becky Buller, Amanda Smith, Missy Raines, Mike Compton, David Grier, Jeremy Garrett, Shad Cobb, Stephen Mougin, and Chris Jones & The Night Drivers


Buy it on iTunes, Amazon, cdbaby or directly from Ned at www.nedski.com/take-five

 Ned Luberecki’s new album, Take Five, is independently released TODAY, March 31, 2017. A master of his instrument and adept in multiple styles Ned recorded at The Rec Room, Ben Surratt’s studio in East Nashville this self produced, the 14-track album is a mix of originals and covers and clocks in at just under 45 minutes.

Take Five is a reflection of Ned’s musical diversity, presenting fiddle and banjo tunes, instrumentals, and traditional bluegrass interspersed with jazz standards, classic Buck Owens, and even the theme to Star Trek. Many of Ned’s musical friends from all walks of bluegrass make appearances, making Take Five a sort of retrospective, reminding us that however we know Ned Luberecki – sideman, teacher, on-air radio personality – that he is respected as both a traditional and progressive player with a style perfectly his own – a harlequin combination of the diverse artists, musicians, and genres he’s ingested.

Take Five is stacked with a remarkable lineup of guest musicians including Missy Raines and the New Hip, Jeremy Garrett of The Infamous Stringdusters, Becky Buller, The Helen Highwater Stringband (Mike Compton, David Grier, Missy Raines, and Shad Cobb), Chris Jones and The Night Drivers, Dale Ann Bradley, and Amanda Smith. Also appearing on the album, Stephen Mougin, guitarist of Sam Bush Band and the other half of Nedski & Mojo, calls it “a sonic glimpse inside the mind of Nedski [that] showcases Ned’s brilliant banjo skills in a diverse range of material, from old-time to bluegrass to jazz and beyond. Way beyond!”

take-five-coverWhat Folks are Saying about Take Five

“An absolutely joyous, riveting, beautifully syncopated example of the beauty of the banjo.  From the traditional to the unexpected, the banjo sings.” —Steve Martin (Actor, banjo player)

“Taken as a whole, Take Five demonstrates Luberecki’s mastery of the five-string. From the opening notes of his own tune, Night Driver to the familiar phrasings of Thelonious Monk’s Blue Monk, Luberecki is making a strong case for IBMA banjo player of the year.” —Bluegrass Today, David Morris   

“Journeying across times and genres on this disc, Luberecki’s impeccable playing, adventurous spirit and irrepressible good humor shine throughout.” —International Bluegrass (IBMA Magazine)

“Ned Luberecki is a true ‘master of the five’! This solo recording is a testimony to the incredible breadth of his playing, which I have always admired.”  —Greg Cahill (Special Consensus, former IBMA Chairman)

“His playing oozes with personality and character, and this record perfectly encapsulates that. It’s 100% Ned, and I, for one, am not afraid! Ned’s tunes are a joy to hear and his playing is better than ever.” —Noam Pikelny

“If you were introducing someone to the beauty and versatility of the banjo using 2017 releases, there’s only one choice that can accomplish that goal perfectly, Ned Luberecki’s Take Five. From bluegrass to jazz and from progressive to old-time, this album shows what the banjo is capable of. And just as importantly, it shows that tradition and a fresh energetic approach are still an easy pairing in the bluegrass world.” —Lonesome Banjo Chronicles, Brian Swenk

“‘Adams County Breakdown’ is a rollicking freight train from the other end of the spectrum, a triumph of the five-string banjo that cements Luberecki as a world-class musician.” –Grateful Web, Emerson Kerwin

“… the cover artwork for this CD reminds me of the artwork for Time Out, the 1959 Dave Brubeck Quartet album to feature ‘Take Five.’ I could listen to this track for hours, just as I could spend hours listening to Dave Brubeck’s rendition (and have done, actually).” —Michael Doherty

“… the interplay between the fiddle and banjo is hypnotic (See ‘Cleveland Park’). Finally, and most importantly, the album is as varied as possible.” —Wine Compass, Todd Godbout

“Bluegrass, on it’s own, is a fun genre of folk music to get into, but with the humor and other genre infusions Luberecki brings here, it wouldn’t surprise at all if he made a few more fans along the way.” —NYS Music, Rob Creenan

“The backing musicians, compositions, and production are all at the highest levels here and Ned has done himself proud with this widely varied and irresistible project.” —Tony Trischka

“With skill, tone, and taste he comfortably transverses styles of bluegrass, jazz, celtic and more making this a seamless and satisfying set of music.” —Missy Raines (7 Time IBMA Bass Player of the Year, Missy Raines & The New Hip)

“… a full course five-string feast, with savory bluegrass, tasty fiddle tunes, tangy jazz and more. It’s all presented with sumptuous tone, timing that’s just right and a dash of Ned’s irrepressible humor. This is state-of-the-art five-string banjo, cooked up with virtuosity and creativity,” —Bill Evans (banjo player, banjo instructor, and author)

“Ned Luberecki is surely among the most talented and creative artists we have in bluegrass music. It doesn’t matter if he is driving the banjo right through the Becky Buller Band, sharing clever stories from the stage, or hosting one of his programs on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction, Ned’s wit and wisdom always shine through… ” —Bluegrass Today, John Lawless

Listen to Bluegrass Today “Night Driver” at Bluegrass Today → www.bluegrasstoday.com/nightdriver-from-ned-luberecki

Listen to  “Higher Ground” at The Bluegrass Situation →  www.thebluegrasssituation.com/read/listen-ned-luberecki-higher-ground

For more information, please visit www.nedski.com, www.facebook.com/MoreBanjo, Twitter: @NedLuberecki, and Instagram: nedluberecki

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Banjo Maestro Ned Luberecki Set To Release Take Five on March 31. 2017

Featuring Guest Musicians:
Dale Ann Bradley, Becky Buller, Amanda Smith, Missy Raines, Mike Compton, David Grier, Jeremy Garrett, Shad Cobb, Stephen Mougin, and Chris Jones & The Night Drivers

Nashville, TN —  Described by Steve Martin as “an absolutely joyous, riveting, beautifully syncopated example of the beauty of the banjo,” Ned Luberecki’s new album, Take Five, demonstrates he is a master of his instrument, adept in multiple styles. Recorded at The Rec Room, Ben Surratt’s studio in East Nashville, Take Five will be independently released on March 31, 2017. Self produced, the 14-track album is a mix of originals and covers and clocks in at just under 45 minutes.

With Take Five, Ned Luberecki offers a full course five-string feast, with savory bluegrass, tasty fiddle tunes, tangy jazz and more. It’s all presented with sumptuous tone, timing that’s just right and a dash of Ned’s irrepressible humor. This is state-of-the-art five-string banjo, cooked up with virtuosity and creativity,” says banjo player, banjo instructor, and author Bill Evans.

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Ned Luberecki.  Photo by Shelly Swanger

As banjo player for the award winning Becky Buller Band; one half of the duo Nedski & Mojo, and host of Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction’s Derailed and More Banjo Sunday, Ned is known not only for his banjo prowess, but for his wit and humor. Respected as both a traditional and progressive player, Ned toured extensively in the United States and Europe as a member of Chris Jones and The Night Drivers for over a decade before joining the Becky Buller Band. He’s also been a member of Paul Adkins and the Borderline Band, the Rarely Herd, and Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, and has appeared with such artists as Jim Lauderdale, Tony Trischka, and Ray Stevens.

Take Five is stacked with a remarkable lineup of guest musicians including Missy Raines and the New Hip, Jeremy Garrett of The Infamous Stringdusters, Becky Buller, The Helen Highwater Stringband (Mike Compton, David Grier, Missy Raines, and Shad Cobb), Chris Jones and The Night Drivers, Dale Ann Bradley, and Amanda Smith. Also appearing on the album, Stephen Mougin, guitarist of Sam Bush Band and the other half of Nedski & Mojo, calls it “a sonic glimpse inside the mind of Nedski.” He goes on, “It showcases Ned’s brilliant banjo skills in a diverse range of material, from old-time to bluegrass to jazz and beyond. Way beyond!”

Tony Trischka weighs in on the album, “At one point, the Siriusly radio-ready voice of Ned envelops us as we prepare to go where no man has gone before. If you love Ned’s ‘Cabin of Death’ – and who doesn’t –  you’re sure to embrace the traditional banjo/fiddle duet on the iconic Star Trek theme. At other times, his rocket–jockey, warp-speed, banjoistic chops propel ‘Adams County Breakdown’ and his own ‘Night Driver’ with impeccable timing. My personal favorite is ‘Cleveland Park”, less of a barn burner, but possessed of a gentle, Celtic beauty. There are several stops for jazzy sojourns as Ned and company employ bluegrass instruments to bring a fresh and welcome outlook to Jobim, Monk and Brubeck. Speaking of 5/4 time, Ned gives ‘Take 5’ a run for it’s money with his ear-worm catchy ‘Earl’s Court’.”

When not performing and broadcasting, Ned gladly shares his methods with banjo students around the world, having taught at Nashcamp, Munich Banjo Camp, Camp Bluegrass, Sore Fingers (UK), Kaufman Kamp, Midwest Banjo Camp and more. Additionally, he is the author of Alfred Music Publishing’s Complete Banjo Method.

Ned’s interest in the banjo was spurred at the age of thirteen. He asked for a banjo for Christmas, and when one of his other Christmas gifts was a couple of Steve Martin comedy albums, Ned found himself paying more attention to Steve’s banjo playing than to the comedy. The classic Foggy Mountain Banjo was his first foray into the iconic Scruggs style, and while he loved the classic sounds of Earl Scruggs, J.D. Crowe, and Sonny Osborne, somewhere along the way he discovered Tony Trischka, who would become one of his “all-time favorite musicians ever. Bar none.” This discovery—the progressive style of banjo—led Ned to delve into music from Trischka, Alan Munde, Bela Fleck, and their contemporaries. Sam Bush and New Grass Revival were his version of Lennon and the Beatles: transformative and eye opening.

Artists and bands outside of bluegrass influenced his developing musical voice as well. He carries on the banjo tradition of emulating and mimicking guitar licks in his own way, borrowing vocabulary from his favorite players Eddie Van Halen and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Avant-garde bluegrass artists David Grisman and Tony Rice introduced him to jazz greats such as Oscar Peterson and Dave Brubeck. With such a varied musical taste and background, it’s no surprise most fans and banjo aficionados would tell you Ned’s style is perfectly his own – a harlequin combination of the diverse artists, musicians, and genres he’s ingested.

Take Five is a reflection of Ned’s musical diversity, presenting fiddle and banjo tunes, instrumentals, and traditional bluegrass interspersed with jazz standards, classic Buck Owens, and even the theme to Star Trek. Many of Ned’s musical friends from all walks of bluegrass make appearances, making Take Five a sort of retrospective and reminding us that however we know Ned Luberecki – sideman, teacher, on-air radio personality – it all springs from his first love, the banjo.

For more information, please visit www.nedski.com, www.facebook.com/MoreBanjo, Twitter: @NedLuberecki, and Instagram: nedluberecki

Take Five Track Listing & Credits
1. Night Driver             2:29 (Ned Luberecki)
2. Higher Ground         2:46 (Kelley Jones Luberecki & Dale Ann Bradley)
3. Cleveland Park         2:36 P.D.
4. Adams County Breakdown     3:03 (Tom Adams)
5. We’ll Put Out The Fire     2:35 (Jon Weisberger & Vida Wakeman)
6. B-Flat Medley         3:38 (Done Gone, P.D., New Camptown Races – Frank Wakefield)
7. Fiddlin’ Dan             4:10 P.D.
8. Take Five                   3:32 (Paul Desmond)
9. Girl From Ipanema         3:22 (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
10. Earl’s Court             3:38 (Ned Luberecki)
11. Blue Monk             4:00 (Thelonius Monk)
12. Kitchen Squirrel Medley     2:09 P.D. (Kitchen Girl – Squirrel Hunters)
13. Buck Owens Medley*    3:38 (Buck Owens & Don Rich, Buck Owens)
14. Where No Man Has Gone Before (Star Trek Theme) 1:27 (Alexander Courage)

*(Before You Go, Let The World Keep On Turnin’)

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Chris Jones & The Night Drivers’ “Live At The Old Feed Store”
~
Available Now~
Recorded at The Old Feed Store in Cobden, Illinois

Chris Jones, Ned Luberecki, Jon Weisberger and Mark Stoffel
Release Live at The Old Feed Store on October 7th, 2014

The album is now available at CD Baby:
www.cdbaby.com/cd/chrisjonesthenightdriver2

Chris Jones & The Night Drivers Sign with Mountain Home at IBMA

…one of the most distinctive voices in bluegrass,
a smooth, low croon that goes down like whiskey with a little bit of honey,”
The Bluegrass Situation

How do you follow an album that features three #1 and two #2 bluegrass radio hits? If you’re Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, you give fans what they’ve been asking for—a live album that delivers a few choice new selections nestled among a flock of favorites, recorded in an intimate, small-town venue that brings out the best in the quartet’s soulful vocals, hotshot picking and easygoing humor. From its blazing opener, “Bound To Ride,” to its even speedier closer, “Pike County Breakdown,” Live At The Old Feed Store, hit the stores on October 7, 2014, and is one that long-time fans will treasure, and it’s also a perfect introduction to a group heading toward its 20th anniversary in bluegrass. The live album is a follow-up to 2013’s release Lonely Comes Easy, which was their first all-new collection since 2009’s Cloud Of Dust. Founded by guitarist Chris Jones in 1995, the Night Drivers feature four distinct personalities who bring a multitude of talents to each performance. Indeed, the group includes Jones, banjo man Ned Luberecki and bassist Jon Weisberger, and mandolinist Mark Stoffel.

The release of Live At The Old Feed Store comes on the heels of one of the busiest IBMA World of Bluegrass weeks ever for Chris Jones & The NIght Drivers. Topping the list of activities? That’s a hard call, but a few stand out, starting with the announcement that the quartet has signed a two album deal with North Carolina’s high-powered label, Mountain Home Music Company. Jones says, “We’ve been very impressed by the quality of Mountain Home’s roster and the strong record of results they’ve achieved in bluegrass music and beyond. We’re extremely excited about this opportunity to join the Mountain Home family.” Others on Mountain Home’s roster include Balsam Range, The Boxcars, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and The Grascals. The Night Drivers will be working on a new studio album for 2015.

Also at IBMA was the reception of two IBMA awards–one to designer, label and artist for Best Graphic Design (Lonely Comes Easy, on Rebel Records designed by Lou Everhart), the other to Jones himself for Print Media Person of the Year. The group performed a showcase for booking agent Roe Entertainment and also a Wide Open Bluegrass festival slot in the Convention Center Ballroom with long-time friend and former Night Driver Jeremy Garrett (Infamous Stringdusters) on fiddle. Ned Luberecki served as off-stage announcer at the IBMA Awards Show on Thursday night, while Night Driver and IBMA Board Chair Jon Weisberger got his own shout-out from the Raleigh News & Observer when reporter David Menconi served up his Tuesday schedule as proof that the old saw that the organization’s initials stand for “I’ve Been Mostly Awake” is no joke (“Busy Days, Sleepless Nights During World of Bluegrass Week.”)

nightdrivers2014_feedstore2_ByMarkWilsonEarly reaction to Live At The Old Feed Store has been favorable, with a choice quote, “Chris Jones & The Night Drivers is a great band, not just for the mastery of their instruments, but for the sheer joy they bring to all those who listen,” with the album also earning their top rating “Bad-Ass” coming from Philadelphia’s THAT MAG.

Live At The Old Feed Store features the Night Drivers’ music front and center, exemplified by the first single, “Battle Of The Bands,” which scored a world-exclusive premiere on Bluegrass Junction. The album displays the group’s wide range of inclinations, with nods to the Stanley Brothers (“Bound To Ride”), Johnny Horton (“I’m Ready If You’re Willin’”) and George Jones (“I Cried Myself Awake”), banjo pyrotechnics (Luberecki’s own “Emergency Pulloff” and a blistering “Pike County Breakdown”) and well-crafted originals (“Like A Hawk,” “Then I Close My Eyes,” and “Lonely Town”).

Alongside these, the Night Drivers have laid in a selection of fan favorites, including Stoffel’s glistening take on The Sound Of Music’s ever-popular “Edelweiss” (followed by a lively turn on an old-time fiddle tune, “Forked Deer”), the gospel quartet of “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms,” and Luberecki’s comic tour de force, “Cabin Of Death,” one of the group’s most requested numbers.

A couple of guests make appearances—Sally Jones contributes harmonies to “Follow Your Heart,” and 2013 IBMA Momentum Vocalist of the Year Emily Bankester recaps her Lonely Comes Easy appearance on “Then I Close My Eyes”—with the focus all on the Night Drivers, who show conclusively that no studio magic is needed for them to deliver compelling performances. From start to finish, Live At The Old Feed Store delivers a faithful representation of a Chris Jones & The Night Drivers set, and as their busy schedule shows, that’s something that audiences are always eager to share.

The group celebrates the release on October 8th with a show at the recording venue, The Old Feed Store in Cobden, IL, followed by a Tennessee weekend that includes dates in Norris, the Fall Homecoming Festival at the Museum of Appalachia and Nashville’s Oktoberfest in Germantown. The band had notable appearances this year at Big Sky Big Grass, Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, MerleFest, DelFest, Bluegrass on the Plains, The Huck Finn Jubilee, Targhee Bluegrass Festival, Bean Blossom, and The Bourbon & Bluegrass Steamboat Tours. Big Sky Big Grass gets the award for the biggest on-stage jams with the Sam Bush Band and Del McCoury joined the Night Drivers on stage at DelFest to sing on “Wolf Creek Pass.” Luberecki was part of MerleFest’s First ever BanjoRama which was hosted by “Dr. Banjo” Pete Wernick. They’ll be traveling for a European tour for ten days in October of 2014 and will be on the road for dates throughout 2015.

Chris Jones & the Night Drivers on Tour
10/8 Wed – The Old Feed Store – Cobden, IL
10/10 Fri – Tennessee Fall Homecoming, Museum of Appalachia – Norris, TN
10/11 Sat – Kimbro’s Cafe 11am – Franklin, TN
10/11 Sat – Oktoberfest in Historic Germantown 4pm – Nashville, TN
10/22-27 – European Tour
11/15-16 Sat- Sun – Wickenburg Bluegrass & Fiddle Championship – Wickenburg, AZ
12/12: Bluegrass in the Smokies – Pigeon Forge, TN

For more information, tour dates and words from the road, please visit: chrisjonesgrass.com,  facebook.com/chrisjonesgrass, and twitter.com/chrisjonesgrass.

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Chris Jones and the Night Drivers. Photo by Darwin Davidson

Chris Jones and the Night Drivers. Photo by Darwin Davidson

Chris Jones & the Night Drivers Set to Release a New Live Album
“Live At The Old Feed Store” on October 7th
Recorded at The Old
Feed Store in Cobden, Illinois

~In Consideration for IBMA This Year’s Nominations~

With success of 2013’s Lonely Comes Easy, their first all-new collection since 2009’s Cloud Of Dust, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers are thrilled to announce a new live album, Live At The Old Feed Store to be independently released October 7, 2014.

The critically-acclaimed vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter behind Chris Jones & the Night Drivers has one of the most distinctive voices in bluegrass, a smooth, low croon that goes down like whiskey with a little bit of honey,” writes The Bluegrass Situation’s Brittney McKenna in a recent interview. Joining Chris Jones as the Night Drivers are bassist Jon Weisberger, mandolin player Mark Stoffel, and banjo whiz Ned Luberecki.

Musically, Live At The Old Feed Store will feature originals like “Battle of the Bands” (a soon-to-be-released single co-written by Night Driver Jon Weisberger and previously recorded by Chris for The 1861 Project), “Like a Hawk” and “Follow Your Heart”, the latter of which was co-written by Chris Jones and features guest vocalist Sally Jones. The album also offers concert staples like “Bound To Ride,” “Cabin Of Death” and “Edelweiss,” along with a new version of a George Jones song (“I Cried Myself Awake”) that Chris first recorded more than 20 years ago as a member of the Special Consensus. Emily Bankester of The Bankesters is also a guest on the original song “Then I Close My Eyes.” The album was recorded at one of the band’s favorite intimate venues, the Old Feed Store in Cobden, IL, on two successive nights in the summer of 2013 and mixed by Mark Stoffel.

REB-1847_coverChris Jones and the Night Drivers are honored to have passed onto to the 2nd ballot for the IBMA Awards in the categories of Entertainer of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year, and Album of the Year (Lonely Comes Easy). Also making the 2nd ballot are Chris Jones for Male Vocalist of the Year, Ned Luberecki for Banjo Player of the Year, and Jon Weisberger as Bass Player of the Year. After this 2nd voting period is over, the final ballot will be announced in mid-August, which the IBMA members will vote on the nominees by early September.

Although the band’s “low lonesome”-singing frontman founded the group back in the mid-1990s, Engine 145’s Henry Carrigan notes, “…in recent years the group has enjoyed growing acclaim not only for its deft musicianship and love of traditional music but also to its musical inventiveness and the songwriting genius of the group’s various members.” This past year, the band has had nine songs charting in Bluegrass Today‘s monthly chart, with five songs hitting the Top 5, including three rising to #1.

Chris Jones and the Night Drivers will be on tour this summer and fall. In mid-August they play the Targhee Bluegrass Festival in WY and the Red Clay Bluegrass Festival on Prince Edward Island in Canada. At the end of August they hop onto the Bourbon & Bluegrass Steamboat Tours, from St Louis to Cincinnati and back again, for two special river tours that offer a rare opportunity to experience the dynamic blend of historic discovery, toe-tapping bluegrass and the finest distilleries on the Bourbon Trail. Upon return to solid land, the group hits the road again towards the ends of September for shows at Bean Blossom, the Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival and the Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia. They’ll also be traveling for a European tour for ten days in October.

Earlier this year, they traveled from Montana to Kansas to New England–not necessarily in that order–as well as points in between, with stops at Big Sky Big Grass, Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Merlefest, DelFest, Bluegrass on the Plains in Auburn, AL and the Huck Finn Jubilee near Los Angeles. Big Sky Big Grass gets the award for the biggest on-stage jams with the Sam Bush Band, Jones played The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek.”Luberecki was also part of MerleFest’s First ever BanjoRama which was hosted by “Dr. Banjo” Pete Wernick.

Chris Jones & the Night Drivers on Tour
8/10 Sun – Targhee Bluegrass Festival – Alta, WY
8/15-16 Fri-Sat – Red Clay Bluegrass Festival – Tignish, Prince Edward Island, Canada
8/29-9/6 – “Bourbon & Bluegrass” American Steamboat Tours – St Louis (Alton, IL) – Cincinnati, OH
9/5-9/13 – “Bourbon & Bluegrass” American Steamboat Tours – Cincinnati, OH – St Louis (Alton, IL)
9/24 Wed – Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival – Bean Blossom, IN
9/25 Thu – Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival, Roanoke, NC
9/27 Sat – Vine Grove Bluegrass Festival, Vine Grove, KY
10/2 Thu – IBMA World of Bluegrass, Roe Entertainment Showcase
10/10 Fri – Tennessee Fall Homecoming, Museum of Appalachia – Norris, TN
10/11 Sat – Germantown Street Festival – Nashville, TN
10/18-28 – European Tour
11/15-16 Sat- Sun – Wickenburg Bluegrass & Fiddle Championship – Wickenburg, AZ
12/12: Bluegrass in the Smokies, Pigeon Forge, TN

For more information, tour dates and words from the road, please visit: chrisjonesgrass.com, facebook.com/chrisjonesgrass, and twitter.com/chrisjonesgrass.

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