Bhi Bhiman
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Bhi Bhiman

Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Bhi Bhiman - Too Good to Wait"

When bands and artists send us their material, we let them know it might take awhile for a review or mention to appear on the site. However, sometimes a band is so good, something is posted as quickly as our little fingers can type.

Bhi Bhiman (pronounced Be Bem-en) is that kind of artist. We got his EP in the mail yesterday, and could not wait to write about it. Bhi had us within the first five seconds of his (self-titled) ep’s first track: “Up in Arms (Minister of Defense).” His voice sounds like the love child of Van Morrison and Dr. John, accompanied by pleasant picking on the guitar, and lyrics that make you stand up and take notice. His material ranges from the deeply personal and political to the downright hilarious. Some of his best songs, like “Talking NASCAR,” are a combination of the two. His manager describes his musical style as “sometimes Bob Dylan, sometimes Tenacious D.” And that pretty much sums it up.

A full release is on the near horizon, as well as lots of tour dates in California and perhaps the rest of the West Coast later this year. Take a listen, it only takes one…. and you’ll be smitten. - Sound on the Sound


Bhi Bhiman, Self Titled EP:
Up in Arms (Minister of Defense)
White Man's Burden Blues
Equal in My Tea
Talkin' NASCAR Blues
International Hater (The Kobe Song)
*All songs aired on KZSU and KCSB


Feeling a bit camera shy


There's an old line Frank Zappa used when he was talking to journalists that goes, "I don't think anybody would be very interested in Frank Zappa if he thought he was capable of telling you who Frank Zappa is—know what I mean?"

In that vein, any musician's "bio" is inherently going to be at least half bullshit. If the music is good, it's good and the bio needs only to avoid tripping over itself. If the music's not good, no amount of background drama, celebrity intrigue or rhetorical praise is going to make it worthwhile.

Such as it is, a bio could never suffice for Bhi Bhiman — for the very reason that his music is far more interesting of its own accord than anyone could ever make it through extrapolation or backdrop distractions.

Now in his mid-20s, Bhiman was raised in St. Louis and is Sri Lankan by descent. He began playing guitar early in life, moving into songwriting while attending college in Santa Cruz. He developed quickly into an intelligent, engaging and—obviously most importantly— entertaining songwriter.

While still in school he formed the band Hippie Grenade. The band's sound got around Santa Cruz and they became a cult favorite in town before outgrowing — and, in some cases, graduating — the college scene, at which point they moved on to San Francisco.

With the voice of a classic-era soul singer (Bill Withers), the presentation of a folk artist (Bob Dylan), the style of a beat poet (William Burroughs) and the psychotic moxie of true innovators (Tenacious D), Bhiman's solo stylings are more accessible and captivating than the rockier, funkier sound Hippie Grenade achieves.

But, as with any great singer-songwriter, it is Bhiman's lyrics that truly stand out.

Little blurbs stick with every listener: for some it's a racist culture escalated into a bit of nonsense in "White Man's Burden Blues"; for some it's a marriage struck up on Mexican wine and getting knocked up in "Equal in my Tea"; for some it's a nation infatuated with NASCAR and George W. Bush in "Talkin’ NASCAR Blues"; for some it's the unnatural (or natural) relationship between Kobe and Satan in "International Hater."

Wherever they appeal most to any particular ear, the lyrics that Bhiman writes bend the unfitting reality of modern culture into tangible and sidesplitting stories of love, lust, bigotry and life.

Does that summarize it sufficiently (without tripping)? There's no way it possibly could.

-Jake Leonard, San Francisco Chronicle