Bhi Bhiman is a one-man folk music force of nature. He’s a Sri Lankan-American who grew up in St. Louis and later re-located to San Francisco, where he lives today. His debut album, BHIMAN, was released in January of this year and is winning over music critics, musicians, fans and long-time folkies with impeccable acoustic guitar and marvelous storytelling, taking on personas of a North Korean prisoner, a hobo riding the rails, a redneck, and a jealous lover, among many others.
But more impressive than his technical proficiency on acoustic guitar or his songwriting is his unmistakable tenor. Bhi appears to barely utter his vocals, yet they swell up inside a room and become larger than life. His grace is most evident when singing “Guttersnipe,” a complex and powerful vocal performance that Bhiman delivers effortlessly.
In the video for “Guttersnipe,” you’ll also see some footage of Bhi hanging out with our live session producer, Steve Shirk at Shirk Music + Sound. Shirk introduced Bhi to his prized 1941 Gibson SJ acoustic guitar – the same guitar that Joe Pug used in recording 90% of his 2010 album Messenger in Shirk’s studio. It’s a guitar that was almost destroyed in Shirk’s early days living in New York and Bhi commented that it was the best sounding acoustic he’d ever played. He decided to play it on “Guttersnipe” for the session.
If you’re into these songs, please go buy the album. You will not be disappointed. If you live in San Francisco, you can find Bhi Bhiman on June 9th with Donovan Frankenreiter at The Independent.