Los Angeles based band Rose’s Pawn Shop is a tornado of Appalachian bluegrass, alt-country, rock, Americana, folk, Celtic, punk and the kitchen sink, drawing in not only the attention of critics and fans but other musicians as well. Over the years, Rose’s Pawn Shop has played with a diverse roster of bands including Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Junior Brown, Ghostland Observatory, Blues Traveler, DeVotchka, Old Crow Medicine Show, Levon Helm, Blue Rodeo, Conor Oberst and the Mystic River Band, Railroad Earth, The Sadies, and The Duhks. Jack White hand-picked them to open for The Raconteurs.
Founded in late 2005, within a year’s time Rose’s Pawn Shop had released their debut CD The Arsonist, won the Best Band in the West title in the Billboard Magazine/Disc Makers Independent World Series, and were named Amoeba Records’ Homegrown Artist of the Month.
Since 2006 Rose’s Pawn Shop has toured extensively throughout the United States(over 100 dates a year) electrifying festival, theater, club, saloon, and honky tonk audiences with their high energy stage show, punk-bluegrass-a-billy attitude and their genre-blending, boot-stomping tunes.
In 2010 they entered the studio with veteran producer Ethan Allen(Gram Rabbit, Throwing Muses, Better Than Ezra, The 88, Brant Bjork, Patty Griffin) and recorded and released their sophomore album Dancing On The Gallows to great critical acclaim.
Since 2006 Rose’s Pawn Shop has toured extensively throughout the United States on several national tours, in addition to several mini-tours throughout California, the Northwest, Southwest, Colorado and Utah. Here are some of their career highlights:
Music Festival Performances:
• Floyd Fest 2007, 2009, 2010 - Floyd, VA
• Joshua Tree Roots Music Festival – Joshua Tree, CA
• Sunset Junction Street Festival – Los Angeles, CA
• Joshua Tree Music Festival – Joshua Tree, CA
• CMJ Music Festival – New York City, NY
• Nemo Music Festival – Boston, MA
• North Park Music Thing – San Diego, CA
• Topanga Banjo Fiddle and Folk Festival – Agoura Hills, CA
• Americana Music Association Conference – Nashville, TN
• Santa Fe Bandstand Music Series – Santa Fe, NM
• Mountain Music and Jam Festival – Mineral Wells, WV
• College of Santa Fe Quadstock Festival – Santa Fe, NM
• Second album Dancing On The Gallows charted 4 weeks straight on CMJ Top 200 Chart and received extensive national and international airplay on college, AAA, country and alternative radio formats.
• Live in-studio performance, interview, and album review at Seattle tastemaker radio station KEXP 90.3.
• Dancing On The Gallows charts on the Roots Music Radio Report Bluegrass Top 50 for several months.
• Live in-studio performance and interview on KAT Country 102 Amarillo, TX.
• Live in-studio performance and interview on WMBR 88.1 Cambridge, MA.
• Reached #1 for 4 straight weeks at KPUR 94.5 Forest Grove, OR.
Awards, Performance Highlights and Honors:
• Winner of the 2006 Billboard Magazine/Disc Makers’ Independent Music World Series, winning $5000 cash and over $20,000 in prizes. Rose’s Pawn Shop in competition with over 1,200 bands, narrowed down to 6 finalists, and won the top prize.
• Handpicked by Jack White to open for Jack White and the Raconteurs at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles.
• Amoeba Records Homegrown Artist of the Month.
• Month Long Residency at The Parkside Lounge in New York City, NY.
• Month Long Residency at The Redwood Bar in Los Angeles, CA.
• Performance at the famous Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA.
• Featured artist at ASCAP showcase at The Basement in Nashville, TN.
• Recorded 2nd album Dancing On The Gallows with renowned producer Ethan Allen(Gram Rabbit, Throwing Muses, Brant Bjork, Patty Griffin)
• Twice performed at Phoenix Botanical Garden’s Music Series in Phoenix, AZ.
In addition to these highlights, below is a partial list of some of the well-respected venues Rose’s Pawn Shop has performed at over the last 2 years:
House of Blues – Anaheim, CA
The Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA
The Key Club – Los Angeles, CA
Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA
Continental Club – Austin, TX
12th & Porter – Nashville, TN
The Derby – Los Angeles, CA
The Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ
College of Santa Fe – Santa Fe, NM
Arlene’s Grocery – New York, NY
The Living Room – New York, NY
TT and the Bears – Boston, MA
Double Door – Chicago, IL
The Basement – Nashville, TN
It may come as a surprise to hear the foot-stomping strains of Appalachian bluegrass channeled through a rock band here in Los Angeles, but heartache, loss and regret have always been the cornerstones of great music and this city has its share. In a town better known for porn stars and face lifts, anything as authentic and heartfelt as Rose’s Pawn Shop, is a pleasant surprise.
Singer-songwriter Paul Givant grew up on the disparate array of popular musical styles any late 20th century kid did. And in that mishmash of rock, punk, country, pop, rap, and all the rest, it was American Folk and Bluegrass music that rooted deepest in Paul, transforming him and his songs. Having played in various rock bands since early high school, in 2005 Paul decided it was time to take his growing batch of old style/new school folk songs, and build them into something greater, more ferocious. The songs were there, volatile, almost flammable, but if they were to attain their potential greatness, he was going to need help.
As so many fortuned events unfold, it was through a series of chance meetings, twists of fate, and Craig’s List, that Paul met kindred spirits in Sebastian St. John, Derek O’Brien, Bill Clark, Derek Swenson, and John Kraus. And in 2005 they began building the music and the band that would soon be known as Rose’s Pawn Shop. This group of young musicians combined in their collective musical melting pot the old style American sounds of Woody Guthrie, Bill Monroe, and Hank Williams, the high energy punk of The Ramones, and The Pogues, and the melodic songwriting sensibilities of Elliott Smith and The Beatles. They were creating something musically unique and yet imbued with a familiarity and accessibility.
The final ingredient was added one fateful day when Paul’s scorned ex-girlfriend/former band mate in an act of revenge stole the band’s instruments and gear and took them down to the local pawn shop. Priceless. Rose’s Pawn Shop was born… The match was lit.
In spring of 2006 after months of playing live and breaking ground around Los Angeles, the band recorded and released their debut album “The Arsonist”. The album quickly began receiving critical praise from print and online publications as varied as “About.com”, “The Daily News”, “Miles of Music”, and “Music Connection”. A month after its release, Rose’s Pawn Shop showcased and won the grand prize in Billboard Magazine and Disc Maker’s: Independent Music World Series. And in the summer of that year, the members of Rose’s Pawn Shop dared to quit their day jobs and hit the road, and what had started as a slow and steady burn, began spreading like wildfire.
They have been touring the United States nearly non-stop ever since. On any given day you might find Rose’s Pawn Shop playing the Georgia Theatre in Athens, busking the streets of Jackson Square in New Orleans, opening for Jack White and The Raconteurs at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, ripping the walls off the club in their month long residency at the Parkside Lounge in New York City, or hitting the main stage of FloydFest in Virginia. On any given day they’re out there, growing their music, igniting their passion, and converting an ever increasing congregation of loyal fans.
In early 2010 Rose’s Pawn Shop entered the studio with renowned producer Ethan Allen(Patty Griffin, Better Than Ezra, Counting Crows, Luscious Jackson, The 88, Gram Rabbit) to record their 2nd album “Dancing On the Gallows”. In recording the new record Rose’s Pawn Shop found themselves rising to a new level of song craft and sound experimentation, while retaining the same fiery intensity and excitement of their early material. The highly anticipated album was released in June 2010 to great critical acclaim, spending 4 weeks straight on CMJ’s Top 200 chart and several weeks on the Roots Music Radio Report’s Top 50.
What do they sound like you ask?
With an arsenal of banjos, guitars, mandolin, fiddle, pedal steel, upright bass, and thundering drums, their sound is a wholesome mishmash of creek mud, rusty nails and your mom’s cooking’. It’s sincere, straight-forward and sexy as fuck, effortlessly combining such disparate musical styles as rock, country, bluegrass, and punk to create an incomprehensibly smooth and accessible sound for true believers and skeptics alike.
With wisdom beyond their years, they fearlessly confront traditional country music themes of loss, lamentation, and redemption, while throwing in some drinking-songs for good measure. Sure, they’re borrowing pages from the books of Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, and Johnny Cash, but Rose’s Pawn Shop takes those pages, tears them up and sets them on fire with breakneck speed, bluegrass instrumentation, 3- and 4- part vocal harmonies and lyrics that’ll break your heart.
Whether it’s the dreamy snake-charm-thump of “Lone Rider,” the wistful whisky-soaked wisdom of “Down The Line,” the honky-tonk ruckus of “Funeral Pyre,” or the Gypsy-infused mandolin twang of “Reckoning,” Rose’s Pawn Shop will hook you. Like catfish from the creek, they’ll reel you in. And they won’t let you go.
And you’ll be glad they did. Because something happens when you hear these songs. No matter how low you’ve sunk, something in the music finds you. It picks you up and carries you home.
Paul Givant - Banjo, Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
John Kraus - Banjo, Vocals, Electric Guitar
Tim Weed - Vocals, mandolin, Fiddle
Stephen Andrews - Upright Bass
Christian Hogan - Drums, Precussion
Self-titled EP (November 2005)
01. The Arsonist
02. Funeral Pyre
03. Deep Red Clay
04. One-man Show
05. Lone Rider
06. Long Way to Fall
08. My Old Valentine
09. Down the Line
10. Blood Running Rivers
Dancing On The Gallows(2010)
01. Dancing on the Gallows
02. Danger Behind the Wheel
03. The Well
04. Pine Box
05. Ball of Flames
07. The Bed in Which You Lie
08. Straw Man
10. One Last Glass of Whiskey
11. The Garden
12. Debt Collector
KEXP - Dancing On the Gallows
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“Rose’s Pawn Shop is as close to authentic bluegrass roots as you can get from an L.A. band. This is...“Rose’s Pawn Shop is as close to authentic bluegrass roots as you can get from an L.A. band. This is a compliment, not a bash… Rose’s Pawn Shop makes a statement with their music. Life is hard and we’re gonna sing about it and get over it. Sometimes its upbeat, sometimes its slow and sorrowful. Regardless, they know their roots and that is remarkably bold”
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“You can feel the whole barn rumble on Dancing On The Gallows from Rose's Pawn Shop, with booming ba...“You can feel the whole barn rumble on Dancing On The Gallows from Rose's Pawn Shop, with booming bass drum, in your face fiddle, and runaway-train banjo. An impassioned vocal delivery that recalls a more countrified Jeff Lang and relentlessly driving momentum will, bluegrass fan or not, have the toe of your worn leather boot tapping in no time.”
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“Who would have guessed that a group of twenty-somethings would create such a spectacular collection...“Who would have guessed that a group of twenty-somethings would create such a spectacular collection full of bluegrass & Appalachian sounding music. They are originally a rock band, too… This group infuses upright bass, drums, pedal steel, mandolin, fiddle, & banjos in an innovative way that is well beyond their years.”
CMT - Uncovering Hidden Gems
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“…the energy and rhythm of the Pogues (if they were a bluegrass band), Charlie Daniels’ fiddle and s...“…the energy and rhythm of the Pogues (if they were a bluegrass band), Charlie Daniels’ fiddle and sensitive vocals that reminded me of Ben Kweller’s recent Changing Horses.”
ASCAP - North Park Music Thing Live Review
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”Everything about ‘em is just right – the stellar interplay of its banjo/fiddle/mandolin/guitar/upri...”Everything about ‘em is just right – the stellar interplay of its banjo/fiddle/mandolin/guitar/upright bass/drums lineup, the pitch-perfect three and four-part vocal harmonies, the dynamic songwriting… Rose’s Pawn Shop have the accessible edge of new school country/bluegrass and the volatility of the best punk bands, all filtered through the combustible instrumentalism of a nonpareil string band.”
AOL The Boot - Rose’s Pawn Shop Fires Up Nashville Crowd
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“Rose’s Pawn Shop Fires Up Nashville Crowd…The harmonies blend effortlessly and the lyrics flow easi...“Rose’s Pawn Shop Fires Up Nashville Crowd…The harmonies blend effortlessly and the lyrics flow easily with the melodies as they combine bluegrass, country and rock elements into a style that gives them a definite stage presence and a sound that is totally their own. Whether the fiddle is dancing through a solo or the bass is thumping a rhythm, the band is having a great time entertaining their audience, while the folks out front are enjoying every note being poured out to them from the stage.”
Top 10 Country Music Albums of 2010
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I was simply blown away when I first listened to the sophomore effort from Los Angeles outfit Rose’s...I was simply blown away when I first listened to the sophomore effort from Los Angeles outfit Rose’s Pawn Shop this summer. Dancing on the Gallows features genuinely interesting songwriting, and the record sounds great from a production standpoint. What really makes this album so compelling, however, is the way it successfully blends sounds and styles together into something that’s actually unique and progressive. Rose’s Pawn Shop brings together subtle rockabilly rhythms with Celtic flare, occasional bluegrass flavor and even a spattering of Texas honky tonk, and the result is a sound that really can’t be described in terms of anything else. It’s unique, and worthwhile.
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Rose’s Pawn Shop –Dancing On the Gallows “You could string ‘em up until their legs start kicking, or...Rose’s Pawn Shop –Dancing On the Gallows “You could string ‘em up until their legs start kicking, or you could turn on this collection of polished bluegrass for the same effect. Thudding country bass lines slide up next to finger-licking good banjo while bluesy guitar solos rain in from above. Brace yourself – even with the classic-sounding vocals – this ain’t your grandfather’s country.”
Phoenix New Times - Not an Empty Seat in the House
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“RPS has a malleable alt-country sound, wrapped up in skillfully crafted songs with vocal harmonies ...“RPS has a malleable alt-country sound, wrapped up in skillfully crafted songs with vocal harmonies and elaborate instrumentation.”
Las Vegas Review Journal - Albums of Note 2010
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The fiddle wails like a drunk at last call as lots of empty bottles of bourbon get grounded to bits ...The fiddle wails like a drunk at last call as lots of empty bottles of bourbon get grounded to bits beneath the perpetually stompin' feet of these Los Angeles bluegrass revisionists forever in search of salvation and/or "One Last Glass of Whiskey," whichever comes first.
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“... any club promoters or booking agents in need of a vital, rootsy rock band that puts out lots of...“... any club promoters or booking agents in need of a vital, rootsy rock band that puts out lots of energy can find it in Rose's Pawn Shop. "Arsonist" and "Funeral Pyre" offers plenty of light and heat, with mandolin, fiddle and a standup bass providing the thumping heartbeat of the music. Vocals by Paul Givant have a combination of strength and sweetness that is consistently appealing.”
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“Acoustic guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, pedal steel, and upright bass combine with the standard r...“Acoustic guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, pedal steel, and upright bass combine with the standard rock band trinity of drums and electric bass and guitar for a new take on the old alt-country idea of channeling roots music through the grittier tones of rock and roll.”
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“Rather than Bushmill’s and sweaty pubs, Rose’s is moonshine and the Appalachians. The music can sti...“Rather than Bushmill’s and sweaty pubs, Rose’s is moonshine and the Appalachians. The music can still knock you on your ass, but it’s just as good around a roaring fire as it is out of speakers.”
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“Rose’s Pawn Shop has concocted an extremely distinctive and intoxicating mix of bluegrass, rockabil...“Rose’s Pawn Shop has concocted an extremely distinctive and intoxicating mix of bluegrass, rockabilly, honky tonk, Celtic and folk music all used as a foundation for Givant’s songs about heartache, loss and the rigors of the road”
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“What the Los Angeles quintet Rose's Pawn Shop does with bluegrass, country and rockabilly is analog...“What the Los Angeles quintet Rose's Pawn Shop does with bluegrass, country and rockabilly is analogous to the kind of freewheeling recombination earlier groups practiced with, say, jump blues and Western swing. On their new full-length, Dancing on the Gallows, Rose's Pawn Shop use bluegrass instrumentation, but somehow the idea of Django Reinhardt-style swing has crept into the popular conception of bluegrass, so their music comes across as good old L.A. country-rock with fiddles, banjo and drums — plus a vaguely jazzy harmonic sense. Their clever arrangements are flavored with tempo shifts and overdriven guitars that recall the glory days of psychobilly, as on the idiomatically imprecise but stirring rocker "Ball of Flames.”
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“This L.A. based band is blessed with amazing talent…many have attempted to categorize them as progr...“This L.A. based band is blessed with amazing talent…many have attempted to categorize them as progressive bluegrass, only because you can hear a banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and upright bass many associate with bluegrass. Some have even tried to compare them with Nickle Creek. None of this is even close, or fair, to Rose’s Pawn Shop. They have a sound and energy very much their own, and hallelujah amen for that!”
9513 Country Music - A Musical Melting Pot
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“Trying to describe the sound of Rose’s Pawn Shop typically involves the use of several hyphens or u...“Trying to describe the sound of Rose’s Pawn Shop typically involves the use of several hyphens or unlikely comparisons. However, when you have a punk-bluegrass-Celtic-country-rock band that sounds like what would have happened if The Pogues had formed in Kentucky, an easy description doesn’t come easy….While trying to classify the music may be frustrating, listening to it is a pleasure. The twenty-something musicians in Rose’s Pawn Shop skillfully blend a love of traditional bluegrass, country and folk music with a punk rock energy.”
Los Angeles Daily News
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“...this young Los Angeles-based outfit sounds like a latter-day Byrds. But there's as much West Vir...“...this young Los Angeles-based outfit sounds like a latter-day Byrds. But there's as much West Virginia as there is L.A. in their hard-driving, eclectic and tightly arranged country rock even when the psychedelic, Celtic and Indian raga elements come to the fore. Inventive songwriting also makes this collection of drinking, stumbling-through-life and, yes, fire-starting tunes prize-worthy in every way.”
The Daily Times Knoxville, TN
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“Rose's Pawn Shop combines old-school sounds with youthful energy and rock 'n' roll attitude, a marr...“Rose's Pawn Shop combines old-school sounds with youthful energy and rock 'n' roll attitude, a marriage that makes for a feverish, spirited live show that veers from raw and wild to transcendent and ethereal.”
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“It is a blend of bluegrass, country twang, and punk…If their music doesn't get your boots stompin',...“It is a blend of bluegrass, country twang, and punk…If their music doesn't get your boots stompin', I'm not sure what will...Rose's Pawn Shop is all about honest Americana music that will get you moving.”
Miles of Music
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“At first impression, Rose`s Pawn Shop comes off as a kick-ass bluegrass band of the traditional var...“At first impression, Rose`s Pawn Shop comes off as a kick-ass bluegrass band of the traditional variety. But so many things quickly inform your perception of this Los Angeles area quintet that no one pigeon fits the hole. One thing is certain, though; their warmth and energy is super satisfying…Lyricist and lead vocalist Paul Givant offers an inviting focal point with a lilting melodic flair, at times sounding a bit like Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze. But mostly his congenial voice is a warm and sympathetic force - filled with equal parts yearning and wonder - pained just enough to convey the classic themes of heartache that inspire all great country songs.”
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“Rose's Pawn Shop brings something new (and quite lacking) to the current musical scene - Originalit...“Rose's Pawn Shop brings something new (and quite lacking) to the current musical scene - Originality. Not quite country, Not quite bluegrass, but a wonderful mix of genres that results in a wonderful treat for the ears. The moment I first heard "Arsonist," I knew I'd be hooked for life. Discard what you know, or think you know, about country music and bluegrass and listen. You'll be a fan for life."
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“They have such a knack for blending all their influences into their sound which could sometimes be ...“They have such a knack for blending all their influences into their sound which could sometimes be described as traditional, sometimes country, sometimes bluegrass and yet at other times straight up rock ‘n roll…Rose’s Pawn Shop’s sophomore release Dancing On The Gallows is another great release from the LA band that continues to mashup all of Rose’s influences… I’d put the songwriting on this album up there with some of the best stuff that’s been released this year.”
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“Rose’s Pawn Shop plays a brand of Wild West Americana that features elements of bluegrass, alt-coun...“Rose’s Pawn Shop plays a brand of Wild West Americana that features elements of bluegrass, alt-country and Celtic folk alongside rip-roaring rockabilly and punk rock energy. These assorted sounds come across like an Appalachian version of the rambunctious sounds of Flogging Molly or Gogol Bordello.”
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“Rose’s Pawn Shop combines Angeleno energy with Appalachian sensibilities on their new, self release...“Rose’s Pawn Shop combines Angeleno energy with Appalachian sensibilities on their new, self released recording, Dancing on the Gallows. These five young California dudes rock out with traditional bluegrass instrumentation on original tunes that evoke artists as varied as Hank Williams and Green Day…True to country form much of the lyrical content on this record features drinking, dying, traveling and heartbreak (not necessarily in that order). While these themes are ancient, Rose’s Pawn Shop presents them in fresh way, combining solid country picking with rock n roll attitude.”
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“In a punky turn of events, the most worthwhile stuff coming out of the LA scene recently has been b...“In a punky turn of events, the most worthwhile stuff coming out of the LA scene recently has been bluegrass…You can practically smell the horse nuggets when these guys settle in with their mandolins, fiddles, banjos and accordions; one could easily picture them getting 15 minutes of NPR fame as a living tribute to Hank Williams. Givant doesn’t shove phony twang up your nose; his simple tenor nestles into its assigned layers, mixed low enough not to overshadow anything else that’s going on but not hiding either, simply contributing in its own way to a fiercely tight band. In other words, were Williams alive and new today, this could seriously be what he’d sound like.
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“This is totally and utterly a band who bring out the best in each other. Whilst Ulf Geist and Steph...“This is totally and utterly a band who bring out the best in each other. Whilst Ulf Geist and Stephen Andrews pound out furious rhythms, John Kraus on guitar and banjo and Tim Weed on fiddle and mandolin just drive the whole thing along with fire and fury.”
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