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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Shakin' Woods - The Blues Proper Sessions Vol. 2 - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Blues Proper Sessions Vol. 2, from Shakin' Woods and it's a cool mix of blues and pop. Opening with blues jam, Enemy, with it's slow, electric blues roots. With singer/guitarist Rich Russman leading the way, this is a strong opener with firey riffs and solid backing by Austin Day on keys and Paul Dudley on drums, this is a solid opener. On Robert Johnson penned, I Believe I'll Dust My Broom with it's strong nod to Elmore James, Day takes over lead vocal and lays down some real nice slide guitar. Wrapping the release is Peter Green's Long Grey Mare with a cool British rock rhythm guitar and bass and lead harmonica work by Rob Paparozzi. Cool closer.



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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Reverend Randy Mac - No Running From The Blues - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, No Running From The Blues, from Reverend Randy Mac, and it's a solid blues rocker. Opening with title track, No Running From The Blues, lead singer Richard Fidge, is joined by Randy Mac on guitar and bass, Timothy Sears on drums, Neil Barbu-Rip on organ, Kim Lange on backing vocal, Dennis Orris on piano and Eric Noffz on sax. With it's rockfunky bottom and strong drum rhythm and blues based guitar soloing, the band is off and running. With a rocking, walking bass line, Have A Good Time really gets moving and with power, John Lord like organ work by Barbu-Rip and a rowdy guitar solo by Randy Mac this track is a mover. Another funky rocker, So Mean, has a cool edge and features a thumping bass solo and flaming guitar solo by Randy Mac. My favorite track on the release is Are You Ready with rocking rim shot and a driving bass line. Up tempo boogie, Fools Paradise, has a great beat and with power organ and tight drums really hits the spot. Wrapping the release is The Devil, with a great walking bass line, wild vocal and edgy guitar. Noffz's sax work rounds out the track, a solid closer. 


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Monday, March 22, 2021

Thirty Tigers artist: Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band - Dance Songs For Hard Times - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Dance Songs For Hard Times (April 9, 2021), from Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band and it's gritty and solid. Opening with Ways and Means, with it's raw, Hill Country like sound. Peyton on lead vocal and guitar and backed by Breezy Peyton on washboard, percussion and vocal and Sad Max Senteney on drums, percussion and vocal, this track has real stones. It's primitive rhythm and sparse instrumentation, it's what blues is all about. Excellent opener. Rocker, Rattle Can is propelled by slide guitar and driving percussion. Peyton really winds it out on this one and his call response with Breezy is terrific.  No Tellin' When, a real blues, with authentic style vocals and guitar percussion is the real deal. This is the kind of track that reflects the real power in the Son House and Lightning Hopkins recordings. Very nice. Sad Song not only has the grit of original blues but also the undercut funk of Little Feat but way underplayed. With vocal work by the Peytons and Senteney and the Rev's slide work against the stiff percussion, another solid track. Cool boogie track, Nothing's Easy But You and Me has a great tempo and driving slide. Super track. Wrapping the release is Come Down Angels, a high energy, spiritual sparked track with shared vocal lead with Breezy and lively slide work. This is a hot release that should appeal to most lovers of hard line blues and folk style music.


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Friday, March 19, 2021

Bible & Tire Recording Company artist: Elizabeth King - Living In The Last Days - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release (April 2, 2021), Living In The Last Days, from Elizabeth King and it's deeply spiritual. King, who was never expected to walk again after a terrible auto accident in 1969 took her first steps and pledged herself to the Lord. King quite recording sacred soul in the mid seventies concentrating on raising her 15 children. Her new release opens with No Ways Tired, a soulful track with the powerful lead vocal of King, backed by Will Sexton on guitar, Mark Stuart on bass, George Sluppick on drums and Matt Ross - Spang on guitar plus Al Gamble on organ, rick Steff on organ, Chris Barnes on vocal, Courtney Barnes on vocals Art Edmaiston on horns, Jim Spake on horns and on vocal and Wurlitzer. Stuart's bass line sets a cool theme for the track and King's vocals are powerful. With a distinct, almost Muscle Shoals like sound, this is a solid opener. With it's R&B styling but with the revival uplift, Living In The Last Days, has great gospel feel with vibrant organ and great lead/backing vocal energy. Mighty Good God has a strong soul theme and all of the vibrancy of gospel with the Rosetta Tharpe rock bottom. Very nice. Hi Energy, Reach Out And Touch is  straight up revival track that will keep you on your feet with your hands in the air. My favorite track on the release is Walk With Me with it's bluesy soul vocal and guitar. Warm backing vocal and crisp guitar riffs over organ bass is the ticket here. Another stand out track is a capella, Blessed Be The Name delivered as if from Son House's lips and that is rare air. Excellent! Wrapping the release is You've Got To Move with one of the most soulful deliveries on this classic I've heard. This is an excellent closer for a strong release. 


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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Swampside Records artist: Sauce Boss - Peanuts - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Peanuts, from Sauce Boss, and I think it's his best yet. Taken from the original score for the Jimmy Carter film, Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President, this release opens with Let the Big Dog Eat, a romping rocker with a heavy bass line by Majic John Jones and rowdy vocals by Boss, backed by Pat Ramsey on harmonica, Lucky Peterson on organ, and Shannon Kori on drums. Zipper Bird is a cool blues rocker with Boss winding it out nicely on slide guitar. Very cool. Slinky, Alligator, is one of my favorite tracks on the release with a funky back beat and with Ramsey answering Boss's wailing vocal call on harmonica over a strong bass line. Very cool. Outlaw Blues is a raw, blues specifically working Boss' slide work and holler vocals over a driving drum beat. Gotta love this. Out In The Night is a strong rock jam that I would associate with Joe Walsh's style. It has pure blues rock bones and elevated guitar work, supported by John Hart on guitar, Jassen Wilber on bass and Justin Headley on drums. Wrapping the release is quiet ballad, Song of The Irish Band, featuring boss on guitar and vocal. This is really a versatile release with something for everyone.



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Monday, March 15, 2021

Landslide Records artist: Damon Fowler - Alafia Moon - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release (March 26, 2021), Alafia Moon, from Damon Fowler and it is a healthy dose of blues rock with a plenty of slide. Opening with Live It Alone, a cool, swampy, rocker, Fowler on slide and vocal leads the way with Chuck Riley on bass, Justin Headley on drums, T.C. Carr wailing on harmonica, Mike Kach on keys, Betty Fox on backing vocals, this is a great opener. Title track, Alafia Moon is a strong, country blues ballad with a great melody and warm backing vocals. Kach's organ work gives it a rich, almost spiritual feel and backing vocals add almost a contemporary Pink Floyd feel. I really like this track with it's rich core. Light, finger picked, The Guitar, is a really cool track with just a dash of Tex-Mex. Fowler really sounds comfortable in this story telling track and it's unassuming freshness. Hip To Your Trip is a modern funky blues, built around a framework of Broonzy's Key To The Highway. With a great bass line, hot slide and funky drums, the only thing I don't like about it is over to quickly. Nice! Another favorite on the release is Taxman, a slow blues with some of Fowler's best vocals on the release and really sweet slide work to boot! Fowler plays some really tasty lead over slide on this track giving it a deep blues feel. Excellent! Funky rocker, Wanda, is guaranteed to get you dancing in your seat if not on your feet. This is a hot track and could be the radio track for the release. Wrapping the release is hot shuffle < Kicked His Ass Out with hot, Gatemouth Brown like picking, rolling into full slide work under super backing vocals. Excellent closer.  


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Friday, March 12, 2021

Third Man Records artist: Danny Kroha - Detroit Blues - New Release Review

 


I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Detroit Blues, from Danny Kroha and it's pretty exciting. Kroha, who takes a pure, primitive approach to the blues hits it square on the screws. Opening with Poor Howard, Kroha uses his basic tools, voice, guitar and foot stomp to make this early, country natural blues. This is pure music as if it came from the earth. Great opener. Simple rag, Detroit Blues, is simple and strong with Kroha singing and playing with no tricks. On diddley bow, Kroha sings Oh Death with the same conviction seen of Son House. This music is very straight forward and solid. Come out The Wilderness is another cool track with diddley bow slide work and strong blues roots. Kroha really works his craft giving the listener the sense that they are listening to an artist who is making music because he loves it rather than because it's popular. Very nice. Another rag track, Adam And Eve really plays up the period with kazoo and guitar. Working his mouth bow on Run Johnny, Kroha brings you back to recordings by Othar Turner and his flute. It is the primitive yet soulful originality of the music. Very nice. Wrapping the release is Up Above My Head, a Sister Rosetta Tharpe track with her spiritual rock styling. Kroha rocks this track on guitar and vocal making it an ideal closer for a very unique and fun release. 


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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Misty Blues - None More Blue - New Release Review

 


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, None More Blue, from Misty Blue and it's a cool, dark blues interpretation. Opening with My One and Only, lead singer, Gina Coleman sets the pace with a tight band. With Seth Fleischmann on guitar, Bill Patriquin on bass, Benny Kohn on keys, Rob Tatten on drums and Aaron Dean on sax, this is a solid opener. With strong lead guitar over a rumbling bass and drum rhythm, and wailing sax by Dean, this track is super. With a funky, jazzy, rhythm, These Two Veils is a mover with a great bass line and trumpet accents by Patriquin and sassy lead guitar by Fleischmann. Dean is always there with soulful sax lines and Kohn's glistening keyboard work adds nicely to Coleman's vocal lead. Very nice. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Change My Luck, which puts me in mind of Muddy Waters. Gritty vocals by Coleman and nicely executed harmonica riffs by Ed Moran over great tension provided by Kohn's organ gives this track real traction. Blues rocker, Ready To Play, has a firm drum stick by Diego Mongue and again with Moran contributing nicely on harp, sets a solid stage for Coleman's vocal lead. Kohn drives the organ up and Patriquin's trumpet and Dean's sax work nicely ice the track. Step Right Up has a different type of hook that would seem to work well for radio with it's bouncy beat and fluid melody line, cool bass lines by Mongue, and interwoven sax by Dean and guitar soloing by Fleischmann. Down home country blues styling on Days Gone By features Coleman on cigar box guitar and vocal, with only minimal backing on guitar and percussion. Light and fun. Wrapping the release is Nothing to Lose with Dan Eskop on bass, Mongue on drums, Richard Boulger on trumpet Wendy Lipp on vocal, Rob Tatten, Moran, Kohn and Patriquin on backing vocal and  fat horn work by Tatten on trombone, Patriquin on trumpet and Dean on sax. Very cool closer for a solid release. 


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Monday, March 8, 2021

Farm 189 Records artist: Trevor B. Power - What Is Real - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, What Is Real, from Trevor B. Power and it's a cool blend of blues, folk, rock and country. Opening with World Gone Madd, an upbeat blues rocker, Power on guitar vocal and guitar leads the way, backed by Anthony Krizan on drums, bass and guitar, Danielle Illario and Matt Migliorino on background vocal, John Ginty on B3 and Will Wilde on harmonica. Solid ballad, I'm Still In, has a strong melody and lead vocal by Power and with warm organ and tasty guitar accompaniment looking like the best radio track on the release. Easier Way has a conventional blues shuffle framework and cool slide work and harmonica accents by Power. Life Is Good is a straight up rocker with a forward drum beat and Chuck Berry bones. Rob Clores' addition of piano on this track really balances nicely with the lead guitar work by Power. Another ballad, I'm A Fool, has a quiet tempo and the feel of a gritty country western track with added steel guitar by Krizan and smooth backing vocals. Very nice. Wrapping the release is This Old Road a folky pop track with jangling acoustic guitars and a warm melody. This is a nice track and a solid closer. 


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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Aris Paul Band - Ghosts - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Ghosts, from Aris Paul Band and it's a cool country blues rocker. Opening with Astray, a modern, country fuser blues rocker, Aris Paul on vocal and guitar is upfront with Aaron Wagner on drums, Matt Scott on bass and Keith Quinn on organ. With it's driving rock rhythm and slide guitar riffs, this is a solid opener. Title track, Ghosts, has a memorable radio format melody and features The Soulville Horns (Phil Brontz on sax, Steve Graham on trombone and George Arner on trumpet). Paul stretches a bit on guitar giving this track a nice kick but it's really about the melody on this track. Bluesy ballad, All Night Long has a lot of appeal with heavy organ and nicely overdriven guitar solos complimenting soulful vocals by Paul. Little White Screen is my selection for best track with it's high energy pace, gritty guitar lead and solid vocals. Wrapping the release is Rust, is a straight up rocker with cool vocal by paul Wagner, and Quinn and with Paul showing his best rock guitar grit. Scott gets in a nice bass solo and Wagner is strong on drums but it's the whole that makes this band click. Very cool closer. This is a solid band from my original hometown and glad to see the Burg with a cool, contemporary rock band. 

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Roots Arts Records artist: Andres Roots - Tartu Lockdown - The House Arrest EP's - New Release Review

 


I just had the opportunity to review the latest release, Tartu Lockdown - The House Arrest EP's, from Andres Roots and it's a cool batch of instrumental blues tracks. Starting with a session recorded in March of 2020 Roots on 6 string cigar box guitar cranks out Lindberg Boogie, a quick paced slide blues. Roots has a sure hand and using his thumb as the drone note slides frantically end to end on the fretboard. Cool opener. Soup City Blues #3 is a bit more somber eventually picking up a traditional 12 bar feel. The second set on the release was recorded in April of 2020 and opens with Hello Neighbor #1. Bridging multiple strings on his slide and using that drone thumb, this is a really cool track. 

Springtime Blues is a light blues track with a catchy melody. With it's simple phrasing and boogie rhythm, it's one of my release favorites. An interesting mixture of blues and jazz, For Future Reference, shows a different type of phrasing and single note, finger picked melody and with slide as a compliment on what sounds like a standard acoustic guitar. 


The third set, recorded in May of 2020, opens with One String Racket, a curious name for a track which sounds like it's recorded using some type of light weight metal stringed instrument. Very interesting. Lockdown Special has an "Eastern" twist on the slide work with it's wavering tonality and maintains a drone note but is considerably more finger picked than much of the rest of the release. Wrapping the release, is Extra Noodles, a track with a bit more rock influence, reminding me just a bit of early Jeff Beck but still on a non traditional instrument. Conventional blues styling and a solid rhythm make this an ideal closer for a pretty cool instrumental release. 


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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Blonde On Blonde Direct artist: Dave Thomas - One More Mile - New Release Review





 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, One More Mile, by Dave Thomas, and it's a strong mix of R&B, Soul rock and blues. Opening with BB King's It's My Own Fault, Dave Thomas on lead guitar and vocal is on top of his game with really front man vocals that work all day and really soulful lead work that makes you sit back and listen. With Terry Popple on drums, Dylan Aplvor on bass, Tom Arnold on Hammond, Norman Tischler on sax and Jeff Hager on trumpet, this is a terrific opener. Funky high stepper, I Like My Chicken Fried, is soul fused with a lot of horns. Thomas works the groove and with the Hammond work by Arnold and Hager's trumpet accents...cool track. Easy shuffle, I Want The Blues shows another side of Thomas' vocal work, with added harmonica and lighter rural style picking. Kicking into rock mode, Tony McPhee's Eccentric Man has a definite early British blues rock feel with aggressive guitar and drum work. Wrapping the release is another McPhee track, Strange Town, with it's driving vamp and classic turnaround. Thomas is cutting a broad swath and laying it all out. Very cool. 


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Friday, February 26, 2021

Ruf Records artist: Ally Venable - Heart Of Fire - New Release Review

 


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Heart of Fire, from Ally Venable and it's a solid blues rocker. Opening with title track, Heart of Fire, Venable is upfront with this Hendrix/Trower flavored radio track. Backed by Elijah Owings on drums, Bobby Wallace on bass and Pat Fusco on keys, Venable's vocals are solid and her riffs undeniable. With a bit of finger picking and acoustic slide, Played the Game still has a pop feel but with a bit more bluesy edge. Bobby Wallace adds keys and Venable's own acoustic slide work gives it a nice feel. Heavy blues rocker, Bring On The Pain, features Kenny Wayne Shepherd and he plays stinging riffs that propel this track under the vocal harmony of Venable. This track has a real nice edge and with the heavier rhythm work, one of the best on the release. Bill Withers' ultra funky track, Use Me, is up next with Owlings, Wallace and Venable creating a great rhythm under Venable's vocals. Very nice. A play on Stevie Ray Vaughan's Rivera Paradise, Tribute to SRV, is really nice and a strong exhibit of Venable's solid chops and fine hand at guitar. Very nice. Wrapping the release is rocker, What Do You Want From Me, with it's Jimi influenced guitar riffs and Sleater Kinney like harmony vocals. Solid rocker ending for a solid blues rockin release. 


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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Shakin' Woods - The Blues Groove Sessions #1 - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Blues Groove Sessions #1 from Shakin' Woods and it's a solid blues rocker. Opening with Like A Superman, singer/guitarist Rich Russman shows the way on this soulful radio rocker. With its strong melody and melodic, Mesa Boogie, guitar work, Latin influenced rhythm by George Belton on bass, Paul Dudley on drums, Austin Day on keys, it's a certain to get some airplay. Bluesy, The Place To Be has a great back beat and sets you deep in one of those grooves. Very nice. Another track with a funky beat is Cayman Review with a fun vocal interplay, funky organ by Day and bongo/tom tom playing by Dudley that really hits the spot. Wrapping the release is Still Alive, a heavy weight blues rocker that really gives Russman the opportunity to show his chops and he's not holding back. The band is hot and heavy on this super closer for a solid release. 


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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Steve Hill - Desert Trip - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Desert Trip, from Steve Hill, and it's an interesting blend of folk, rock and blues. Opening with Evening Star, a chant like blues track with a thumping drum beat and fleet fingered acoustic guitar work is a strong opener for one of Canada's most prolific guitar players. Rain is a real cool track with super vocals, a progressive melody and solid guitar accompaniment. Cold Hearts reminds me quite a bit of a Frank Black composition (Pixies) with it's solid melody, strong pace and tight package. Very nice. Another strong composition is I Won't, a simple acoustic and vocal ballad. Hill has a great way of blending a cool tune with interesting rhythm and just the right amount of finger work. Very nice. With it's firm foot stomp driving rhythm and guitar driven melody, Hill does some of his best vocal work on Make Believe. The track shows how simple guitar execution can be so tasty. Judgement Day has a cool blues/western sound with some of the components of an old western theme. I love the lower neck amplified guitar work as well as the built up dynamics under the blues/rock guitar soloing on this track. Excellent. Wrapping the release is super instrumental, Tail Lights, with Hill dancing nicely across the electric strings creating one really nice closer for a solid set of music. 


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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

VizzTone Label Group artist: Early Times & the High Rollers - The Corner - New Release Review

 I just has the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Corner, from Early Times & the High Rollers and it's a cool rocker. Opening with easy shuffle, Come On, Let's Ride, Early Times on vocal and guitar is upfront with Joshua Keith on drums, Dan Schnapp on keys and Hardan Long on bass. On The Corner maintains a lighter radio feel but with bluesy guitar riffs by Times and a solid drum bottom by Keith. Sixties style rocker, Do What She Do keeps it simple with a solid melody and simple beat. A strong radio track and a cool track. Bluesy, She's About To Lose Her Mind, grinds into a lumbering groove with nice piano and organ work by Schnapp under some of Times' best vocal work and some real tasty guitar riffs by Popa Chubby making this one of my favorites on the release. Instrumental, Rosie's Herbs 'n Ting is a light, jazzy rocker with a hint of Latin spice giving Times a nice chance to step out on guitar over the tight percussive rhythms of Jay Messina. Very nice. Acoustic ballad, Someone Help Mary is a nicely crafted track with solid vocals and minimal instrumental as needed along the lines of Neil Diamond. Wrapping the release is high energy rocker, Return of the Queen, with driving guitar and relentless drumming. It is actually a real cool track with vocal phrasing like Dylan and a blazing guitar solo by Times. Solid closer for a cool release. 


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Monday, February 22, 2021

WildRoots Records artists: The WildRoots - WildRoots Sessions Volume 1 - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, WildRoots Sessions Volume 1, from The WildRoots and it really cool. Opening with Eddie Floyd's classic, 634-5789, Stephen Dees on bass, Victor Wainwright on piano and lead vocal and Patricia Ann Dees on lead vocal and sax, joined by John Oates on rhythm guitar, Eddie Zyne on drums, Todd Sharp on lead guitar, David Kent on piano, and Beth McKee on backing vocal this is a soulful opener. Move Along Part 1 is a super jam with tight percussion and horns. With Patricia on lead vocal, Greg Gumpel on guitar, Gerard Guida on Hammond Robert Caban on percussion, and Billy Dean on drums this is a hot track. Charlie DeChant lays in a really nice tenor sax solo soulful ballad, Our Last Goodbye featuring John Oates on lead vocal. Very nice. Venturing into spiritual music, Cradled In The Bosom of Jerusalem, has deep gospel styling with rich vocal work by Wainwright, Particia, Beth McKee, drums by Alberto Cruz and acoustic slide by Pat Harrington. Robert "Top" Thomas has the mic on King Snake Crawl Revisited adding guitar and backed by Stephen Kampa on harmonica.  Funky, Move Along Part 2, features DeChant on lead sax, with Guida on organ, Gumpel on guitar and Dean on drums. In A Sad Room is my choice for top radio track with a catchy melody and smooth vocal lead by Chris Merrell. Bryan Bassett on lead guitar, Scott Corwin on drums, Top Thomas on guitar and Lucky Peterson on Hammond round out the mix. Wrapping the release is another soulful ballad, I'm Yours, featuring Wainwright on lead vocal and piano. Charlie DeChant shines balances nicely on sax making this a solid track to close. 


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