Music

What’s Stuck In My Head – 27 September

Today is one of those days when I have a medley of songs stuck in my head. It was a difficult choice to pick just one of the songs bouncing around inside my noggin, but I picked this one.  Not really sure why.  Ringo Starr’s Act Naturally (with Buck Owens) was also a major contender.

If I had to come up with a single reason for this song over Ringo’s it would have to be the husband and wife duo of singer-songwriters.  I guess this post could fit under that theme as well. 

Delaney & Bonnie were an American duo of singer-songwriters Delaney Bramlett and Bonnie Bramlett. In 1969 and 1970, they fronted a rock/soul ensembleDelaney & Bonnie and Friends, whose members at different times included Duane AllmanGregg AllmanGeorge HarrisonLeon RussellBobby WhitlockDave MasonRita CoolidgeKing Curtis, and Eric Clapton.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delaney_%26_Bonnie

What a list of backing band members!  In Eric Clapton’s autobiography, he credits the late Delaney Bramlett with scaring him to broaden his music.  Eric really only wanted to be a guitar player, but Delaney thought he should go solo and sing as well.  “If you don’t use all your talents, God will take them away” was Delaney’s warning (paraphrased as I no longer have the book to get an exact quote).

All this happened while D&B were touring with Eric’s band Blind Faith. 

On the strength of Accept No Substitute, and at his friend Harrison’s suggestion, Eric Clapton took Delaney & Bonnie and Friends on the road in mid-1969 as the opening act for his band Blind Faith. Clapton quickly became friends with Delaney, Bonnie and their band, preferring their music to Blind Faith’s. Impressed by their live performances, he would often appear on stage with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends during this period, and he continued to record and tour with them following Blind Faith’s August 1969 breakup. Clapton helped broker a new record deal for Delaney and Bonnie with his then-US label, Atco (Atlantic) Records, and performed (with Harrison, Dave Mason, and others) on Delaney and Bonnie’s third album, the live On Tour with Eric Clapton (Atco; recorded in the UK, 7 December 1969, and released in North America in March 1970). This album would be their most successful, reaching #29 on the Billboard 200, and achieving RIAA gold record status. Clapton also recruited Delaney and Bonnie and their band to back him on his debut solo album, recorded in late 1969 and early 1970 and produced by Delaney.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delaney_%26_Bonnie

So, what song did I pick you may be asking yourself.

Never Ending Song of Love” is a song written by Delaney Bramlett, and, according to some sources, by his wife Bonnie Bramlett. It was originally recorded with his band, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, in 1971 on the album Motel Shot. Released as a single by Atco Records the same year, “Never Ending Song of Love” became Delaney & Bonnie’s greatest hit on the pop charts, reaching a peak of #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number eight Easy Listening. It reached #16 in Australia.

“Never Ending Song of Love” has been prominently covered several times. A cover version by The New Seekers was a major hit in the United Kingdom and Ireland in 1971. It spent a few weeks at no. 2 in the UK charts and in South Africa,[4] reached no. 1 in the Irish charts, and featured on their album of the same name.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Never_Ending_Song_of_Love

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

P.S. I’ve got a new genealogy blog now.  The link is down below!

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Skeeter’s Family

Guitar Gods – Chapter Four

Last night my dear older brother (whose birthday was Friday – so Happy Birthday again), texted me to go to you tube to listen to Europa by Santana.  He was impressed by the bass line.  Realizing that he was an amazing bass player in his day, but I wonder how he could avoid the absolute genesis of Carlos Santana.  I have written about this particular track some time ago, in Guitar Gods – Chapter One, so I guess it slipped his mind that I knew the song.

Over the course of the two hours or so we went back and forth via text (well I went on for two hours, he gave up about 90 minutes in) we talked many guitarists from Santana, where we started, to David Gilmore, Mark Knopfler, and Stephen Stills.  But these guys didn’t come up once until I stumbled on the video below.

Stevie Ray Vaughn is way up there on my guitar gods list.  As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, son-the-younger was almost named for him.   Albert King, on the other hand, was not on the list.  But he is now.  I knew of Mr. King from the blues channels on Sirius.  But I thought he was, as a guitar player, of the B.B. King and Muddy Waters style.  By that I mean he would play little licks only when not singing.  Both King and Waters are amazing blues artists, but I find their guitar work not as strong as King’s.  Maybe I just haven’t seen the proper videos.  Leave a comment directing me to watch something to educate me. 

This is from a 1983 In Session recording.

In Session is a blues album by Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan recorded live for television on December 6, 1983, at CHCH-TV studios in Hamilton, OntarioCanada, when Vaughan was 29 and King was 60. It was released as an album on August 17, 1999 and re-released with a supplemental video recording on DVD on September 28, 2010.  It has also been released on CD and SACD.

It was the first of two collaborations captured for television, the second being as invited guests on a show led by B.B. King in 1987. It was recorded for one of a series of live television sessions recording the performances of various artists. The show was called In Session.  The album includes a few short segments of the banter by King and Vaughan between songs.

Initially, King was not going to do the show as he did not know who Vaughan was.  He did not realize that Vaughan was actually ‘little Stevie’, the ‘skinny kid’ that he let sit in when King played in Texas.  King talks about this on one of the conversation tracks.  When he realized who Vaughan was, he agreed to play.

The album’s material is mostly King’s concert line up, with one Vaughan cut, “Pride and Joy” on the audio CD (the DVD also features Vaughan’s “Texas Flood”).  King is ‘driving’ the session, but he features Vaughan’s guitar extensively on most of the songs. According to the introductory credits on the DVD, a number of the tunes are included there for the first time, having been omitted from the original TV broadcast for reasons of time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Session_(Albert_King_and_Stevie_Ray_Vaughan_album)

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 7 August

Taking a break from the genealogy today.  I did set up a couple of test family trees for the two matches I mentioned yesterday, but that’s it.  Not going to stress over finding long lost cousins right now.

Today’s stuck song features two gentlemen that are on some of my other lists.  Walter Becker is on the Guitar Gods and Wizards list, and Donald Fagen in also on the Singer – Songwriter list.  But this song is not what I had in mind when I will feature each of them later.  This is a Steely Dan song.  Donald and Walter will show up later.

Steely Dan is an American rock and jazz fusion band founded in 1972 by core members Walter Becker (guitars, bass, backing vocals) and Donald Fagen (keyboards, lead vocals). Blending elements of rock, jazzlatin musicR&Bblues and sophisticated studio production with cryptic and ironic lyrics, the band enjoyed critical and commercial success starting from the early 1970s until breaking up in 1981. Initially the band had a core lineup, but in 1974, Becker and Fagen retired the band from live performances altogether to become a studio-only band, opting to record with a revolving cast of session musiciansRolling Stone has called them “the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies”.

After the group disbanded in 1981, Becker and Fagen were less active throughout most of the next decade, though a cult followingremained devoted to the group. Since reuniting in 1993, Steely Dan has toured steadily and released two albums of new material, the first of which, Two Against Nature, earned a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. They have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001. VH1 ranked Steely Dan at #82 on their list of the 100 greatest musical artists of all time. Founding member Walter Becker died on September 3, 2017, leaving Fagen as the sole official member.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steely_Dan

I have mentioned “The Dan” in an earlier blog post.  Well, at least I thought I did.  I can’t seem to find it now. So, I guess I’ll have to retell the story.  It’s not too long but go get an adult beverage if you’d like.

I was about 13 years old just throwing a football around with a neighbor.  He was older than I, about my brother’s age maybe even a few years older.  As we were playing catch, we were talking music.  Yes, even at an early age I was trying to learn about the music I was listening to on the radio, and from the albums I was “borrowing” from my older siblings.

When we got around to talking about The Beatles (they had broken up by this time) Ol’ Tommy told me that Steely Dan would be the “next Beatles”.  They may not have made it quite that big, but they did have a very loyal following.  This was about the time that “Reelin’ In The Years” was out so I knew the band. I did my best from then to get every album of theirs I could find.  I still have them.  Somewhere…

“Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” must be their biggest hit, but it’s not my favorite.  For whatever reason “Kid Charlemagne” takes that title.  But that’s not the song that’s stuck in my head.  This one is.

Oh, I think I scared off the every Friday vistor. I have seen him/her since I mentioned it. Too bad!

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Storm (?) Followup

It now looks like my weather predictions weren’t all that far off.  Here, locally, this has been a non-event.  We may have received a grand total of 7 minutes of rain since Saturday morning.  Wind conditions are at worst, breezy.  There were a few gusts yesterday evening and overnight, but not ‘tis nothing.

My tweet from yesterday evening. Just before the one rain band we had hit.

I’m not trying to downplay this, or any storm.  Growing up in South Florida in the 60’s and 70’s, I know how devastating hurricanes can be.  I count myself as lucky that we missed this one.  It was a Cat1 as it approached, but then dropped down to a strong tropical storm the closer it came to us.  As the graphic below shows, wind speed at 0800 (8 AM) was still sustained at 70 MPH.  That’s just 5 MPH below a Cat1 hurricane.  And we are still under a tropical storm warning since the winds can wrap around the back of the storm and still affect us.

The track as of 0800, Monday 3 August.

Guess today will be spent moving everything back into the yard that we brought in.  Guess there’s worse things we could be doing.


Not much else going on today, so here’s a somewhat relevant video. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 31 July

10CC…  What comes to mind when you hear that?  A measurement of volume (10 Cubic Centimeters – although Milliliters is a better term), or maybe, for techies a Carbon Copy on an email send to 10 addresses?  Well, in this case, I’m referring to the English “art” band, 10cc.

I won’t use their two American airplay hits, “I’m Not In Love”, (from the 1975 album The Original Soundtrack) or from the 1976 album Deceptive Bends, “The Things We Do For Love”.  Both are excellent songs with “I’m Not In Love” reaching number one in the UK and number 2 in the US, and “The Things We Do For Love” making it to number 6 and number 5 as well.

10cc is an English rock band formed in StockportGreater Manchester in 1972. It initially consisted of four musicians – Graham GouldmanEric StewartKevin Godley and Lol Creme – who had written and recorded together since 1968. The group featured two songwriting teams. Stewart and Gouldman were predominantly pop songwriters, who created most of the band’s accessible songs. By contrast, Godley and Creme were the predominantly experimental half of 10cc, featuring art and cinematically-inspired writing.

Every member of 10cc was a multi-instrumentalist, singer, writer and producer. Most of the band’s records were recorded at their own Strawberry Studios (North) in Stockport and Strawberry Studios (South) in Dorking, with most of those engineered by Stewart.

From 1972 to 1978, 10cc had five consecutive UK top-ten albums: Sheet MusicThe Original Soundtrack (1975), How Dare You! (1976), Deceptive Bends (1977) and Bloody Tourists (1978). They also had twelve singles reach the UK Top 40, three of which were the chart-toppers “Rubber Bullets” (1973), “I’m Not in Love” (1975) and “Dreadlock Holiday” (1978). “I’m Not in Love” was their breakthrough worldwide hit and is known for its innovative backing track. Godley and Creme quit the band in 1976 due to artistic disagreements and became a duo act. Stewart left the band in 1995. Since 1999, Gouldman has led a touring version of 10cc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10cc

Gouldman was also an amazing writer penning such hits as “Heart Full of Soul” and “For Your Love” for The Yardbirds, as well as “Look Through Any Window” and “Bus Stop” for The Hollies.

For today’s entry I’m going with “Dreadlock Holiday”, a wonderful track that didn’t get much airplay in America because as Gouldman says;

When asked why he thought the song didn’t do better in the US, Gouldman said that reportedly some radio stations would not play reggae of any kind.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreadlock_Holiday

I always enjoy it more when the song is based on an actual event;

The song was based on real events Eric Stewart and Moody Blues vocalist Justin Hayward experienced in Barbados. Stewart changed the location to JamaicaGraham Gouldman commented: “Some of the experiences that are mentioned are true, and some of them are … fairly true!”[3][4] Stewart recalled seeing a white guy “trying to be cool and he looked so naff” walking into a group of Afro-Caribbeans and being reprimanded, which became the lyric “Don’t you walk through my words, you got to show some respect.” Another lyric came from a conversation Gouldman had with a Jamaican, who when asked if he liked cricket replied, “No, I love it!”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreadlock_Holiday

While this catchy reggae rhythm is what’s stuck today, I also recommend their 8+ minute opus “Une Nuit A Paris (One Night in Paris)” also from the Original Soundtrack album. But I have to ask what exactly that album was a soundtrack for….

And I’m not going to get into other meanings of the band’s name. See also: The Loving Spoonful. I seem to remember another band name or song title along this line, but it won’t come to mind right now. Leave a comment below if you know of others that fit!

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Singer-Songwriters – Chapter One

Before we begin this series, I need your input; what exactly (in your most humble opinion), is a “Singer – Songwriter”?  Does one have to be a solo act, or are band members in amongst this talented group?

Case in point – Paul Simon (you can read my thoughts on Paul here).  He is most definitely a singer – songwriter, but does he qualify for his solo work only, or does his work recorded under the Simon and Garfinkle duo count as well?  The same could be asked of any of The Beatles or Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

As per my usual, I asked my brother his thoughts.  He says, and I tend to agree with him, that anyone that has written the song that they’re singing qualifies. In that way, any of the gentlemen in The Beatles or CSN&Y qualify.  For the most part, I will limit myself to solo artists for now, with some exceptions such as Mr. Simon and maybe a few others.

So, I ask you, dear reader, to leave a comment with your thoughts.  I won’t guarantee I’ll take your advice, but let your vote be counted anyway.  Also, please let me know any folks you would think qualify for this list (or any other of my series).  As with my other list, Guitar Gods (in the process of being expanded to Guitar Gods & Wizards), this list is in my head only.  As such names are likely to be forgotten (hey – I’m old!) and a reminder now and then would be helpful.

One last note on suggestions.  Please leave all comments here on the blog.  Anything placed on the various social media sites are not likely to be seen quickly.  I have become very scarce on most social media, and Facebook particularly.  Now, on with our first of the “Singer – Songwriters”.


Carole King Klein (born Carol Joan Klein; February 9, 1942) is an American singer-songwriter who has been active since 1958, initially as one of the staff songwriters at the Brill Building and later as a solo artist. She is the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century in the US, having written or co-written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100.  King also wrote 61 hits that charted in the UK, making her the most successful female songwriter on the UK singles charts between 1962 and 2005.

King’s major success began in the 1960s when she and her first husband, Gerry Goffin, wrote more than two dozen chart hits, many of which have become standards, for numerous artists. She has continued writing for other artists since then. King’s success as a performer in her own right did not come until the 1970s, when she sang her own songs, accompanying herself on the piano, in a series of albums and concerts. After experiencing commercial disappointment with her debut album Writer, King scored her breakthrough with the album Tapestry, which topped the U.S. album chart for 15 weeks in 1971 and remained on the charts for more than six years.

King has made 25 solo albums, the most successful being Tapestry, which held the record for most weeks at No. 1 by a female artist for more than 20 years. Her record sales were estimated at more than 75 million copies worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting. She is the recipient of the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the first woman to be so honored. She is also a 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carole_King

As most young kids of the time, my musical introduction to her was the Tapestry album.  I bought a pirated 8-track (told you I was old!) at a flea market, and promptly wore it out.  I was lucky enough to see Ms. King live on Halloween night, 1975.  It was a David Crosby and Graham Nash concert and she joined them for a couple of songs.  It was spectacular. 

As the quote above mentions, along with her then husband she wrote so many songs that other artists recorded.  I remember how surprised I was when I learned that they wrote “The Loco Motion”.  As far as I was concerned that was a Grand Funk Railroad tune, not to mention the Herman’s Hermits hit “I’m Into Something Good” or Aretha Franklin’s monster hit “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”. I could go on and on.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Guitar Gods – Chapter Three

For us music geeks the sad news this weekend that Peter Green had passed away came as a real blow.  May folks may not know who he was, so here’s a quick recap.  He was the guy that replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.  Still not ringing a bell?  He was a founding member of Fleetwood  Mac.  Surely, you’ve heard of that band!

Of course, the version of Fleetwood mac you probably recognize is not the original group.  Seems that back in 1966 (I won’t mention who young I was) Peter left the Bluesbreakers taking drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie, who had only been with the Bluesbreakers for a few weeks to start Fleetwood Mac as a blues band.  Fleetwood Mac didn’t really become the commercial juggernaut of rock/pop fame until Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham came along a bit later.

Peter Green (born Peter Allen Greenbaum; 29 October 1946 – 25 July 2020) was an English blues rock singer-songwriter and guitarist. As the founder of Fleetwood Mac, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Green’s songs, such as “Albatross“, “Black Magic Woman“, “Oh Well“, “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)” and “Man of the World“, appeared on singles charts, and several have been adapted by a variety of musicians.

Green was a major figure in the “second great epoch” of the British blues movement. B.B. King commented, “He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.” Eric Clapton praised his guitar playing; he was interested in expressing emotion in his songs, rather than showing off how fast he could play[8] and used string bendingvibrato, and economy of style.

Rolling Stone ranked Green at number 58 in its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. His tone on the instrumental “The Super-Natural” was rated as one of the 50 greatest of all time by Guitar Player. In June 1996, Green was voted the third-best guitarist of all time in Mojo magazine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Green_(musician)

Peter was featured on the Bluesbreakers album A Hard Road in 1967 with two of his songs making the album.  One of which is featured below.  I have also featured one of my favorites of his originals here.

It seems that Peter may have really messed his head up with a bad acid trip in March 1970 while in Munich.  Most reports say this was the beginning of his mental illness issues.  He did spend time getting treatment and managed to get back to playing about 1979.

In 1988 Green was quoted as saying: “I’m at present recuperating from treatment for taking drugs. It was drugs that influenced me a lot.  I took more than I intended to. I took LSD eight or nine times. The effect of that stuff lasts so long … I wanted to give away all my money … I went kind of holy – no, not holy, religious.  I thought I could do it, I thought I was all right on drugs.  My failing!”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Green_(musician)

He was 73 when he died in his sleep on the 25th of July, 2020.  He will be missed.

Peace,
B

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Guitar Gods – Chapter Two

Today is a 3 for 1 blue light special!

No, I’m not trying to get through my list quick.  I thought it would be cool to combine several of the gods in one post.  There is an exceptionally good chance that all these gentlemen will appear here again.

This is a song written by George Harrison, and the lead guitar on the original recording (on The Beatles AKA “The White Album”) is played by Eric Clapton, and here is Peter Frampton doing it live.  I also saw covers by lots of other guitar wizards, but I went with this one mainly because as I was starting this post, as only a 2 for 1, with George and Eric. Then I heard Peter’s cover playing on the radio.  So, I changed the video and went with this one.

As I mentioned this was originally on the White Album; 

While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1968 double album The Beatles (also known as “the White Album”). It was written by George Harrison, the band’s lead guitarist. The song serves as a comment on the disharmony within the Beatles following their return from studying Transcendental Meditation in India in early 1968. This lack of camaraderie was reflected in the band’s initial apathy towards the composition, which Harrison countered by inviting his friend and occasional collaborator, Eric Clapton, to contribute to the recording. Clapton overdubbed a lead guitar part, although he was not formally credited for his contribution.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/While_My_Guitar_Gently_Weeps

I have featured this song here and here.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 18 July

On one of the (too many) news feeds I read, Far Out Magazine has been posting a look back at some early songs by The Beatles. The web site (linked above) covers a very wide range of music and other artsy things.

This particular track was mentioned a few days ago and although the song itself hasn’t stuck with me the way John intro’s the song has. The video has a little bit of an interview that isn’t really all that interesting. The good part starts about 50 seconds in.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Guitar Gods – Chapter One

So…  Happy anniversary to me!  Today marks the 3rd anniversary of this here silly assed blog, AND the 12th anniversary of me on Twitter, which is even more silly assed!  So, I got that going for me.

But of course, that’s not what I came here to tell you about (been a while since I’ve used that line and thank you Mr. Guthrie).

For those of you that have been paying attention you may have noticed my every now and then mentioning a certain list of guitar gods.  On this most auspicious day (see paragraph one above) I feel it’s time to start honoring those gods (and goddesses).  As a reminder, this list has not been written down, it’s all in “me ‘ead”.  As such, it is a very fluid list.  Any ranking on said list is purely whimsical and is subject to change depending on my mood and/or alcohol consumption.

For those that know me best the artist I’m using to start this series off may come as a surprise.  Those that have been reading this blog (and thanks to each and every one of you) know that my “top three” guitar gods, both chronologically and favoritism are Mike Nesmith, George Harrison, and Eric Clapton.  I have featured each of those artists many times, so I went with someone else this time.

I guess it’s not all that surprising that my favorite songs by this gentleman are instrumental. After all, Carlos Santana doesn’t sing on his recordings. He is first and foremost a guitarist.  I can’t say for sure, but I would think the name Santana, as a band, first hit me with Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen. After all the AM radio stations didn’t play tracks like Soul Sacrifice it just wasn’t radio friendly. Along with the aforementioned Soul Sacrifice, the other great instrumentals I can dig are Samba Pa Ti and Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile).  

I remember the first time I heard Europa. When that track hit the stylus on my turntable everything else stopped. The sustain Carlos gets out of his guitar then followed by the machine gun like riffs just blew me away.

To see a young Carlos and band, check out the footage from Woodstock.  Rumor has it that Carlos was tripping on LSD while on stage.  Their set was delayed by a rain storm and Carlos was hanging out with Jerry Garcia (he of course is on the list as well) in the artist trailer and well, you can imagine what happened.

Major rock music promoter Bill Graham, a Latin Music aficionado who had been a fan of Santana from its inception, arranged for the band to appear at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival before its debut album was even released. Its set was one of the surprises of the festival, highlighted by an eleven-minute performance of a throbbing instrumental, “Soul Sacrifice”. Its inclusion in the Woodstock film and soundtrack album vastly increased the band’s popularity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Santana

Here is a live video with two my favorite instrumentals.  Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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