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On Saturday November 3rd, Banana, the original “hippie from Olema” and founder member of legendary San Francisco band The Youngbloods, flies into Heathrow to start a European solo tour - and his first gig is that very evening, at Milton Village Hall, Portsmouth. Unbelievably, admission is free, and there wil be a bucket collection at the end of the evening. Those of you who saw Banana at The Cellars at Eastney in February KNOW how good he is! Grandpa Banana, as he's now known (although his real name is Lowell Levinger), is the real deal . His recent album “Even Grandpas Get The Blues” features guest appearances from world class musicians, including Ry Cooder, David Grisman (Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead’s duo partner), Barry Melton (founder member of Woodstock legends Country Joe & The Fish), amongst other stellar artistes. With Banana on guitar and electric piano, and Jesse Colin Young on vocals and bass, The Youngbloods classic recording “Get Together” cracked the U.S. top 5, sold over one million copies, and achieved gold record status in 1969. Their first chart single was "Grizzly Bear" in 1967. The Youngbloods disbanded in September1973, and Banana went on to a solo career, becomingaccompanist to Joan Baez’ sister Mimi Farina for over twenty years. For over ten years he also played keyboards and sang lead vocals with Zero, who performed material written for them by The Grateful Dead’s lyricist Robert Hunter also included revered Grateful Dead sideman Steve Kimock, and the late great John Cipollina from Quicksilver Messenger Service. Banana also played with Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. Banana was initially a bluegrass musician who apart from guitar and piano also plays banjo, mandolin, mandola and bass. His love of the genre is evident on the two High Country albums on Raccoon Records, which introduced Californian bluegrass to a nationwide audience. He's also released two fine old time rock and roll albums. The present day Grandpa Banana also plays blues on a regular basis with Michael Barclay (from Chuck Berry’s band back in the 60’s) in The Michael Barclay Blues Band, and 60’s psychedelic rock with The Barry "The Fish" Melton in The Barry Melton Band, duo gigs withy David Nelson (founder member of New Riders Of The Purple Sage and a member of The Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band), and many others. On http://www.grandpabanana.com you’ll find a media section with video etc. - and there are lots of clips on Youtube too! Also appearing will be singer and guitarist Krystina Jankowska (check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LD1nDTlQeyU for a fine version of Krystina performing Suzanne Vega's "Luka") and 5 Rod Plot, a four piece folk band which consists of our very own Dave Jordan, founder member of the late lamented Hot Tamales on vocals and upright bass, Jon Everitt on guitar and vocals, Pete Evans on vocals, mandolin, bodhran and concertina and Chris Dalton on guitar and banjo. So.... see you at Milton Village Hall, Milton Road, Portsmouth, PO4 8PR on Saturday 3rd November! - it's opposite Posbrooke Rd, next to Beddow Library just before Milton Arms pub). Doors open at 7.30 p.m. - come early or you may not get in!!!!! There's no drinks licence, so please bring your own... and a can of cider for me (he says, hopefully...) J.R.