The Singles Collection (Bluethroat)
Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., May 25, 2012
Shiva's HeadbandThe Singles Collection (Bluethroat)
Founded in 1967, Shiva's Headband blazed a trail between San Franciscan ballroom psychedelia and the progressive country that defined the Armadillo World Headquarters in its early-Seventies heyday. This flashback-inducing picture disc compiles the locals' four singles along with unreleased live tracks, 1968 debut "Kaleidescoptic" delivering a pungent whiff of tin shed freak-rock in suboptimal recording conditions. Violinist/vocalist Spencer Perskin remains the band's sole constant across the decades, and his strings provide a mark of distinction as the collective drifts from fringe country into late-night progressive FM blues. His saxophone enlivens keyboardist/vocalist Shawn Siegel's R&B-flavored "Such a Joy," while 1983's "Lost Austin Blues" presages 21st century complaints about growth. The hazy, open-ended eclecticism of these songs hasn't aged particularly well, but if you close your eyes tight enough while listening, you can almost see the last shadows of Groovers Paradise fading into history.