Maximum Rhythm and Blues

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Banana and The Bunch - Mid-Mountain Ranch (1972)

Great, great, great little slice of early alternative country, from a band about which not much is known.  The mastermind behind this 1972 album is "Banana" a.k.a Lowell Levinger III, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist for the folk rock band "The Youngbloods".  As far as I can tell, this record was recorded either during or just after the Youngbloods called it quits.  I think that has a lot to do with the appeal of this set.  It sounds like a couple of really talented musicians stretching themselves out and trying new things.  They sound generally excited by the material.

I know I say this all the time, but this is one album that really grows on you.  It also has a lot more interesting things to offer than just a straightforward country-fied folk rock.  There are flourishes of jazz, and bluegrass, even bits of found-sound, that prove that there was more to this group than just a knack for a tasty alt. rock lick.

Highly recommended for Sunday mornings with a cup of coffee, a good book, and nothing to do.  Check out the sample, Familiar Patterns, which actually is one of my least favorite songs on the album, but the only thing I could find on YouTube.



  2. Thank you so much for this . . . having only been able to get my hands on Crab Tunes And Noggins at least 20 years after I first heard it on the radio, delighted to get the chance to hear another of the lesser-known Raccoon releases !


  3. thank you so much for this. from a big bannana fan,
    i like frozen bannana too. i thought he was the real soul in the youngbloods
    also a big fan of the crab tunes record.
    my kind of noise