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iTunes Review

By turns soulful, absurdist, and politically charged, Bhi Bhiman—a first-generation American of Sri Lankan ancestry—works in the scrappy folk troubadour tradition of Woody Guthrie and displays a caustic wit worthy of Randy Newman and John Prine. His voice is filled with aching resonance, wailing with wounded pride in the hobo’s anthem “Guttersnipe” and taking on Marvin Gaye–like tones in the jealousy-wracked “Eye on You.” Propelled by his deft acoustic guitar work, Bhiman can embody both a hard-pressed North Korean worker (“Kimchee Line”) and a greedy corporate fat cat (“The Cookbook”) with equal confidence. Skewed country tunes like “Crime of Passion” and “Ballerina” take his penchant for zaniness to lurid heights. Even when shifting to a mellower mood (as on “Take What I’m Given”), he retains his sharp sense of social commentary. Judicious use of keyboards, vibraphone, and light percussion rounds out the album's spare sound. It's smart, timely, and deeply humane.

Customer Reviews

Bhi happy!

One of those CDs you can't stop listening to. Thanks to NPR for tipping me off to this CD. Only a few weeks into 2012 and I think I've found my 'album of the year'. Bhi the first of your friends to discover this exceptional voice.


First time I've heard of this artist and WOW! . The whole album is top notched. All the songs are great. Love the album.


Great album. Been listening to it for weeks straight now


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The son of Sri Lankan immigrants, one-of-a-kind folksinger and songwriter Bhi Bhiman (he was named after a character in the Mahabharata) spent his childhood in St. Louis, Missouri, and began playing guitar when he was nine years old. As a teen he fell under the influence of bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains, but as he began to write his own songs, full of joyous wordplay and sharp humor, he began to sound more like Bob Dylan or Woody Guthrie, and he developed an utterly unique,...
Full bio
Bhiman, Bhi Bhiman
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Customer Ratings