News

Montgomery's Inaugural 'Fall Equinox Festival' A Huge Success October 04, 2017 10:49

Words by Inge Hill: Druids Charity Club

The 1st annual Fall Equinox Festival put on by the Montgomery based Druids Charity Club was a great success, both in terms of money raised for a great cause and smiles created. Set in Montgomery’s iconic Union Station Train Shed on Sunday, September 23rd, the event pulled in more than $70,000 through a combination of generous donations from sponsors and day of event sales. The occasion of the day was a benefit for Hogs for the Cause, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit supporting families afflicted with pediatric brain cancer. As a result of the event, grants have already been going out to local families in need.

As advertised, the event proved to be a family-centric affair with wide appeal across generations. Kids (and some adults) in pig noses could be heard squealing in delight in the ‘Pig Pen’ while they played in the two bouncy houses, ate cotton candy, had their faces painted, and participated in various arts and crafts adventures. For the sports inclined, the Alabama and Auburn games were each broadcast on an enormous LED TV setup. No one left the event hungry as the BBQ was both plentiful and delicious. Moe's Original BBQ served up Alabama style dishes; their pork ribs were a solid fan favorite. Druids BBQ focused on Texas Hill Country (beef brisket and sausage) while Mojo Hand focused on Carolina style ‘Q (pulled pork with mustard sauce). Taken as a whole, Montgomery was treated to a remarkably rounded BBQ review of some of the more distinctive styles that can be found in America.

The music was phenomenal and true to its advertising of a diverse bill spanning Blues and Americana  influences. Family Reunion Trio, consisting of Montgomery mainstays, William Barnes, Dave P. Moore, & John Mark Turner, got things going in the shed with a classy sit down acoustic affair. Moore treated the crowd to soulful vocals across a wide range of blues and roots music standards, while Barnes and Turner accompanied with mandolin and guitars. It was a fine collaboration for a group of musicians who have meant so much to the Montgomery music scene through the years.

After a 30 minute rain delay that made things interesting for a spell, Anthony ‘Big A’ Sherrod and the Allstars hit the stage with a foot stomping set of electronic Mississippi Delta blues. The quartet out of Clarksdale, MS came dressed for the occasion and determined to bring a little bit of that Delta sound to Montgomery. Big A demonstrated that he is a performer in every sense of the word, often interacting with the crowd between blues numbers which were usually punctuated with shredding guitar solos.

Last but not least, The Band of Heathens out of Austin took to the stage to take the bill to a more Americana realm. As a testament to their varied influences, many of their tunes (almost exclusively originals) had a familiar feeling even to first time listeners in the shed. Gordy Quist and Ed Jurdi displayed their vocal range throughout while the crowd was treated to numerous fan favorites and treats from their new album, Duende. While this band of musicians can jam with the best of them (“Look at Miss Ohio”, “Daddy Longlegs,” and the jam out of “Hurricane” come to mind) the band trended towards a disciplined structure underlined by an approachable down-home style. Together, diverse in influences yet similar in spirit, the three bands created a five hour musical jigsaw puzzle that came together piece by piece as the event unfolded. May their roads go on forever.

The Druids are pleased with the result of year #1 of the Fall Equinox Festival and look forward to building on that success heading into next year. A healthy amount of money was raised for local families and a good time was had by all doing it. The Druids would like to thank their countless volunteers and corporate sponsors whose generosity made everything possible. We would also like to thank Live and Listen for their support and promotion. As life goes, the last few years have not been short on challenges - all the more reason to find time to light those fires, plug in those guitars, put on those dancing shoes, and remember that life on this world is precious.


Fall Equinox Festival Will Feature BBQ, Blues, Americana, & Much More June 21, 2017 08:14

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The Druids Charity Club is pleased to announce their 1st annual Fall Equinox Festival, a charity event benefitting Hogs for the Cause and their quest to support families struggling with the effects of pediatric brain cancer.  The 2017 Fall Equinox Festival will be held in Montgomery’s Union Station Train Shed on Saturday, September 23rd, the day after the Autumnal Equinox. Noteworthy for being the time of year when the day and night are equal in length, this is a time for balance and reflection before the night slowly overtakes the day in the winter months. For ages, this has been a period of celebration of the harvest and giving thanks. To mark this special time, the Druids Charity Club BBQ team has joined forces with Moe’s Original BBQ to put on a festive experience in downtown Montgomery running from the early afternoon into the evening.

To honor the harvest, Druids and Moe’s will be smoking delicious BBQ for the event’s patrons, creating both Alabama and Central Texas BBQ styles. Additional local BBQ vendors will be added to the program shortly, please stay tuned for further announcements.

To punctuate the celebratory nature of the occasion, a music component consisting of three bands will be rocking the shed. This year will feature Blues & Americana style music. The headliner will be the nationally touring Band of Heathens, fresh off their 5th studio album, Duende. Big A & the Allstars out of Clarksdale, MS will provide a foot stomping set of electric blues; while the Montgomery rooted Family Reunion Trio will round out the bill. Please read below for band bio information.

Druids strives to create an atmosphere which is appealing to the entire family. As such, a Kids Zone will be provided in addition to a college football viewing station.

Event Schedule:
Doors Open: 1:00 PM
Family Reunion Trio: 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Big A Sherrod & The Allstars: 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Band of Heathens: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
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Hogs for the Cause

Hogs for the Cause (“Hogs”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on helping families which have been affected by pediatric brain cancer. Many families in this situation find themselves facing overwhelming costs associated with their child’s medical treatment. In order to offset these hardships, Hogs provides monetary grants to families in need. Hogs is committed to maximizing the impact of every dollar to support these families. Currently, Hogs has distributed over $1.8 million via grants to families in need as well as donations to other related charities. Additionally, Hogs has committed another $1.6M towards Children’s Hospital of New Orleans to construct an on-campus housing facility so that regional families can remain with their sick children in a comfortable environment. This facility should open later this year. The Hogs fundraising cycle is capped by their annual BBQ and music festival held every spring in New Orleans. The Druids Charity Club has enjoyed a robust partnership with Hogs over the last three years, and we ask that you join our efforts now to lessen the burden on these families.  While Hogs is based in New Orleans, every dollar raised at this event will benefit a local River Region family in need.

Collaboration in Service

Druids Charity Club is itself a 501(c)(3) (designation pending) non-profit organization consisting of a coalition of like-minded mid-30’s folks who were raised in Montgomery, along with their friends and loved ones. While a sense of duty regarding the need to better give back to the community we love had been simmering for some time, that sentiment was galvanized with a renewed sense of purpose when our good friend Wyatt Smith became sick with cancer. Wyatt isn’t with us in this world anymore, but his spirit lives on every time we enjoy some of the things that truly made him happiest: music, good eating, and doing right by others.

While we have had several private fundraising events in the past few years, we are especially excited to be putting on our first event in our hometown. It is with pleasure that we acknowledge the support we have received from Live and Listen in planning this event. We are equally excited over the upcoming collaboration between our BBQ team and the professionals at Moe’s Original BBQ, as well as the (pending) additional vendors. Can’t wait to see y’all in the shed!]

Click Here: Purchase Tickets Today!

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Learn More About The Lineup

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The Band of Heathens

-Headlining this one-day festival will be The Band of Heathens, whose five members operate around the evolving territory where blues, folk, country, and rock combine to create a distinct and soulful musical gumbo. The term “Americana” was practically invented to describe The Band of Heathens’ approach, which has mutated almost as much as the genre to which they’re identified. Duende, the title of The Band of Heathens’ fifth studio album (and eighth overall), marks their tenth anniversary as a group, and it certainly applies to its overall theme about the collective search for connection and communion in a technology-fueled world increasingly splintered, distracted and lonely. As band co-founder Ed Jurdi, who first learned of the term, explains, “It’s the essence of the artist,” or as partner Gordy Quist says, “It’s a word we don’t have an equivalent for in English, Artistically, that’s where we tried to set the bar, to do what this band does best.”
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Watch Band of Heathens' music video for "Deep Is Love" here:

Big A & The Allstars

Hailing from the heart of the Mississippi Delta, many consider early 30-something Anthony “Big A” Sherrod to be the future of the “Clarksdale sound.” Big A picked up his first guitar at the age of 6 and hasn’t put it down since. Learning to play from local blues player, instructor, and mentor Johnnie Billington, Big A continues to act as an ambassador to the next generation of Delta blues musicians. Not unlike the confluence of the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers, his style incorporates many of the influences that collectively bubbled out of this great hotbed of American music. When Big A isn’t playing at the world renowned Red’s Lounge in Clarksdale, he can be found dazzling crowds at blues festivals throughout the country. Playing for you today as an electric blues trio, please welcome Big A & the Allstars.

Watch Big A performing at Briggs Farm in 2014 here:

Family Reunion Trio

Featuring William Barnes, Dave P. Moore, & John Mark Turner

Representing Montgomery’s own rich musical heritage we have William Barnes, Dave P. Moore, & John Mark Turner. These three have been family and colleagues since the early 90’s, but catching them all on the same stage at the same time is a rare and celebratory event these days. Barnes has been a staple on the southern music seen since 1992, leading his own groups like Far South Movement and collaborating with a diverse range of artists from Col Bruce Hampton to Snarky Puppy. Our audience will perhaps best know Moore and Turner from their collaborations together over the years within Blues Old Stand, a band which has achieved near mythical status dating back to its origins over 30 years ago. Together as a trio, these musicians will be serving up a set of gritty homestyle roots music spanning blues, country, Gospel, jazz and all points in between. If the sound of an honest tune being delivered by raw heartfelt vocals, crying guitars, and lonesome back-woods harmonica does it for ya, then you don’t want to miss this special hometown reunion show. These three “put it down where the goats can get it.”

For more information on Hogs for the Cause, please visit:  www.hogsforthecause.org

For event sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

John Sullivan: 334-717-0107 (Cell)

Email: Click Here


Funksgiving: Presented By Central Alabama Psychology - Friday 11/25 November 16, 2016 13:50

Photo by Taylor Wallace: iWally Photography

We couldn't be more pleased to announce our title sponsor for Funksgiving 2016: Central Alabama Psychology.  As we have said many times before, we would not be able to continue hosting these annual events without the support of our local business sponsors.  Dr. Kale Kirkland at Central Alabama Psychology provides various psychological services to our state, including forensic evaluations, diagnostic and psychoeducational assessments, disability evaluations for social security and veterans, and psychotherapy services.

We would also like to recognize our additional sponsors: The Starke Agency, Vintage Year, Zaxby's, Porch Band of Creek Indians, Neptune Technology, Guntharp Financial, Hans Heating & Air, Cathead Vodka, Sabel Steel, 95.1 The Fox, Embassy Suites, MST, SaZa, Chris' Hotdogs, Fly Aerial Studio, Capital City Club, Alabama Dumpster Services, Print Sound, and Alabama Steel.  Each of these businesses has gone above and beyond to support our mission of bringing live music for a cause to the Montgomery area, and we wouldn't be here without them.

Funksgiving 2016 will feature The Werks (two sets), McLovins, & Dank.   This year's event will take place at the Union Station Train Shed in Montgomery, AL on Friday, November 25th.  We have been working on this event since early 2016, and we could not be more excited to see everything come to life next week.  This will be a benefit for Family Promise of Montgomery and E.A.T. South.  Both VIP and General Admission tickets are available by clicking here.  Don't worry about dinner plans, as Chris' HotdogsSaZa Serious ItalianNYC Gyro, and Alabama Sweet Tea Comapany will be on-site all night.  Make sure to come early, as we will offer a special kid's area (5:00 - 7:00 PM) this year which will include a bounce house, face painting, and a balloon artist.  Kids ages 12 and under will be admitted for free.  Additional vendors include Organic HippieYour Health Sprouted FlourHoops For Fitness, and Soul Light Stars.

Click Here: Purchase Funksgiving Tickets Today!

Family Promise of Montgomery is one of over 150 affiliates across 39 states. Family Promise of Montgomery unites the interfaith community and local resources to help homeless children and their families return to stability. Their interfaith network consists of 13 "host" congregations and 7 "support" congregations. These congregations serve homeless families within the places of worship and provide meals and a safe place to stay.

E.A.T. South is a non-profit organization based in Montgomery, Alabama that encourages healthy lifestyles through education & sustainable food production in urban areas throughout the Southeast.  E.A.T. South envisions communities across the Southeast have access to fresh, healthy, affordable food and the knowledge about food preparation that supports a healthy lifestyle.  E.A.T. South currently manages two urban farms - Montgomery's Downtown Farm and our Farm at Hampstead. Both teaching farms offer educational programs and provide fresh, naturally-grown fruits and vegetables to the greater community.

Watch the official promo video for Funksgiving 2016 here:

Funksgiving 2016 Announcement from Sune Media on Vimeo.

Watch the official after movie for Funksgiving 2015 here:

Funksgiving 2015 Recap from Sune Media on Vimeo.


Win Tickets To See Willie Sugarcapps In Montgomery On Thursday Night November 08, 2016 13:55

Live & Listen is pleased to team up with our friends at Vintage Year to offer a free pair of all inclusive tickets to the 11th annual Montgomery County Bar Association Tailgate, featuring live music from Willie Sugarcapps at The Warehouse at Alley Station in downtown Montgomery, Alabama.  All proceeds from this event will benefit Montgomery Volunteer Lawyers Program.  Come enjoy an evening of music from Alabama's favorite supergroup Willie Sugarcapps, which features Will Kimbrough, Grayson Capps, Corky Hughes, and Anthony & Savana Lee Crawford of Sugarcane Jane. This event is presented by Beasley Allen.

Fairhope Brewing Company, Good People Brewing Company, and Grayton Beer Company will also be on hand pouring crisp & refreshing brews all night.  And if beer isn't your thing, make sure to stop by and get an ice cold sweet tea from Alabama Sweet Tea Co.  This ticket package includes free entry and complementary refreshments.  Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here, and they will also be available at the door on Thursday night.  To enter the ticket contest, simply share this post from our Facebook page and tag a friend in the comments.  We will announce the winner at 11:00 AM CST on Thursday morning.  

Watch Willie Sugarcapps' official music video for "Oh, Colorado" here:


The Werks, McLovins, and Dank Round Out Funksgiving Lineup August 17, 2016 22:50

Live & Listen is pleased to announce that Funksgiving 2016 will feature The Werks (two sets), McLovins, & Dank.  We have been working on this show for quite some time and could not be more excited to share this news.  This year's event will take place at the Union Station Train Shed in Montgomery, AL on Friday, November 25th.  This will be a benefit for Family Promise of Montgomery and E.A.T. South.  Both VIP and General Admission tickets will go on sale on Friday, September 2nd.

Family Promise of Montgomery is one of over 150 affiliates across 39 states. Family Promise of Montgomery unites the interfaith community and local resources to help homeless children and their families return to stability. Their interfaith network consists of 13 "host" congregations and 7 "support" congregations. These congregations serve homeless families within the places of worship and provide meals and a safe place to stay.

E.A.T. South is a non-profit organization based in Montgomery, Alabama that encourages healthy lifestyles through education & sustainable food production in urban areas throughout the Southeast.  E.A.T. South envisions communities across the Southeast have access to fresh, healthy, affordable food and the knowledge about food preparation that supports a healthy lifestyle.  E.A.T. South currently manages two urban farms - Montgomery's Downtown Farm and our Farm at Hampstead. Both teaching farms offer educational programs and provide fresh, naturally-grown fruits and vegetables to the greater community.

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The Werks have emerged & established themselves as a national powerhouse; delivering an electrifying dance party to beloved fans across the musical spectrum. Fusing psychedelic shredding, wailing organ, and slap bass with synthesizers and modern dance beats, their live shows encompass a sensational blend of jam-rock and deep electronic funk.

These genre-benders will be touring throughout 2016 in support of their 4th studio album, 'Inside a Dream' released in November 2015, which takes listeners on a track-by-track musical voyage through the heart of a dream; into their own hopes, fears, and aspirations. The seasoned jam-centric quartet brings a sonically superior mix of otherworldly explorations and revelatory lyrics to this artistic and mature musical statement.

Through sanguine compositions that effortlessly transition from spacious soundscapes to driving rhythms, the album merges multiple genres in a style that only this Ohio quartet can deliver. Throughout the 11-track release, Inside a Dream remains raw yet polished, and emotional yet whimsical… it is within these contradictions where the depth of the band truly shines.

Catch them soon in a city near you, or at the 7th incarnation of their “Werk Out Music & Arts Festival” in August, which draws 5000+ people annually to Ohio.

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McLovins is a soulful rock band that complements a youthful and infectious energy with seasoned and diverse musical talent. Inspired by an eclectic mix of influences like The Band, Steely Dan and The Flaming Lips. Bassist Jason Ott, drummer Jake Huffman, guitarist Justin Berger and keyboardist Atticus Kelly combine their progressive songwriting skills with 70’s inspired extended improvisations and instrumental ingenuity.
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Hailing from Hartford, Connecticut, McLovins have appeared at Gathering of the VibesMountain Jam,The Peach Festival, and the legendary Nateva Music Festival. They have also performed with some of the most influential artists on the scene, including Buddy GuyGeorge Porter Jr., Oteil Burbridge and Robert Randolph.
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Currently the band is on the road promoting its self-titled new album cut in New York
City’s East Village and produced by 2-time Grammy award winner Bill Sherman.
As the band continues to evolve, consistency lies in the distinctive Jam-rock production that brings a vibrant sound and a unique energy to many acclaimed venues and festivals across the country.
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Through years of touring and experimentation, Dank has searched for the strongest ingredients, boldest grooves, and most intoxicating melodies with which to light up their audiences. Take a dash of pop vocals, a sprinkle of synths, a hair of funk guitar, layer it with electric piano, driving bass, chunky riffs, and shake it up with a groove you can dance to. Check out Dank's latest EP Get Up or check their tour dates to see them live!

Funksgiving is Live & Listen's inaugural live music event in Montgomery, Alabama, held annually on the night after Thanksgiving, which is conveniently the night before the Auburn vs. Alabama football game, also known as The Iron Bowl.  The idea was to start a tradition in Montgomery on a night where many natives are back in their hometown.  Our hope is to continue this tradition for many years, ultimately making Funksgiving one of the most highly anticipated annual music events in the Southeast.  

Funksgiving 2015 featured Robert Randolph & The Family Band, McLovins, & BYOG at the Union Station Train Shed in Montgomery, AL on Friday, November 27th 2015..  The event raised a total of $3000 for Parkinson Association of Central Alabama.  The event drew over 700 attendants in Downtown Montgomery and served as Live & Listen's largest show in Montgomery to date.

Funksgiving 2014 was the inaugural Live & Listen event.  The show featured Earphunk and McLovins at The Warehouse at Alley Station and raised a total of $2500 for Run Bell Run, a local fundraising campaign for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  The event drew over 400 people to Downtown Montgomery, setting the tone for many great shows ahead for Live & Listen.  

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Live & Listen and Matter Present: Willie & The Giant w/ Special Guests The Harkestra July 10, 2015 10:45

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with our friends at Matter Creative Studio to bring you one of our favorite up-and-coming bands, Willie and the Giant, on Sunday, August 16th at the A&P Courtyard in Montgomery, AL.  Fresh off of an early Summer run which included supporting groups such as North Mississippi Osborne, The Revivalists, and Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, the Nashville-based four piece offers up plenty of eclectic magic— sweltering swamp grooves, dark and lonesome spaghetti-Western tunes offset by feel-good soul-pop ditties, gorgeous dueling guitar melodies, fist-pumping no-frills American rock & roll, glammy ‘70s raveups, fiery Southern anthems and stadium-ready psychedelic blues epics.  Supporting Willie and the Giant is Montgomery's own The Harkestra, led by local guitarist William Barnes.

FULL STORY:  Willie and the Giant w/ The Harkestra - Montgomery, AL - Sunday, August 16th


CukoRakko Pre-Party Featuring Sidewalk Chalk & Jeffrey James - Montgomery - Thurs 4/23 April 22, 2015 11:52

The Saza Serious Sound Series is bringing CukoRakko to Montgomery on Thursday night!  CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival is a dynamic family event at historic Horse Pens 40 in Steele, AL, just north of Birmingham, the first week in May and first week in October.

CukoRakko will be hosting their first ever Montgomery Outreach Pre-Party with Ropeadope Records artists, Sidewalk Chalk, from Chicago. You don't want to miss this powerful night of music and art.  Check out some of their latest videos below.  There will also be visual art on display from Abstract Mafia and other artists and activities to be announced, as well as our friend DJ Jeffrey James before and after the band.

Come enjoy The Sanctuary, Montgomery's newest music and arts venue in the Capitol's oldest neighborhood, Historic Cottage Hills. Join us in learning more about this great venue, neighborhood, band, and festival.

Visit Helicity Montgomery to learn more about the growing cultural movement in the capitol city.

PURCHASE TICKETS TODAY!

 

(Sidewalk Chalk - "Blue" - From their latest release, Shoulder Season)

SIDEWALK CHALK (Chicago, IL)

With the release of its sophomore album, Leaves, Sidewalk Chalk continues to lead the contemporary evolution of hip-hop, soul, and jazz. The band’s roots are firmly planted in Chicago where all eight members bring their respective talents together to update a sound first heralded in the Native Tongues era but never so musically diverse. The group’s unique arrangement allows them to incorporate numerous styles seamlessly: an MC and female vocalist; a trio of keys, bass, and drums; a horn section with trombone and trumpet; and a tap-dancer.

In contrast to the 2012 debut release, Corner Store, this new album finds the group venturing into a grittier space and capitalizing on a subtle approach that is at times hauntingly beautiful. Leaves represents change, both the loss of something dear and the excitement of exploring something new. “The album is about growth, growing pains, and letting go of the past if need be,” states MC Rico Sisney. Vocalist Maggie Vagle adds, “It’s also about unfolding into a new color. Shedding to shine brighter."


(Sidewalk Chalk - "Get It Right" - From their latest release, Shoulder Season)

Sidewalk Chalk has created a live show that captivates a variety of audiences. The group has already shared stages with Questlove, De La Soul, Action Bronson, Jean Grae, Hiatus Kaiyote and other notables. Individually, band members have acted as musical director(s) for Brother Ali, toured with Jazzanova and played behind Buddy Guy and Talib Kweli. Sidewalk Chalk was named "Most Outstanding Group" at the 2012 Chicago Music Awards, and its MC represented Chicago at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China.

Sidewalk Chalk is: Rico Sisney (MC), Maggie Vagle (Vocals), Charlie Coffeen (Keys), Garrett McGinn (Bass), Tyler Berg (Drums), Jumaane Taylor (Taps), Sam Trump (Trumpet), and David Ben-Porat (Trombone).

(Sidewalk Chalk - "Vibrations" - From their latest release, Shoulder Season)

 PURCHASE TICKETS TODAY!


MADE Paper Presents: Hankfest 2015 April 21, 2015 11:14

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MADE Paper is excited to announce Hankfest 2015! Join us in the A&P Courtyard in Montgomery, AL on May 2nd from 7-11 p.m.for a celebration of Southern Music with a touch of Hank. Musical acts include Dead FingersDaniel Elias + Exotic DangersCaptain Kudzuand Hank Sr All Stars!  Tickets on sale now for $10 at http://hankfest.brownpapertickets.com. Tickets will be $20 at the door. Special discount given at the door to those who have their Fitzgerald Gala ticket and Southern Makers wristbands!
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