Bhi Bhiman: 2015
Bhi Bhiman at WFUV (photo by Nick D'Agostino)
Raised in St. Louis, now based in the Bay Area of California, Bhi Bhiman is, like many Americans, a son of immigrant parents. Like a lot of kids, he had a childhood of baseball, Back To The Future and falling in love with the guitar. And while Bhiman says that he didn't experience personal hardship growing up the son of immigrant Sri Lankan Tamil parents, he does have a sensitivity and deep understanding of the immigrant experience. It is from this perspective that he wrote the concept album Rhythm & Reason.
Topically, it is about people and cultures on the move, and the socio-political circumstances that force them to move. The songs also touch on the misconceptions and prejudice thse new arrivals to the States endure.
Musically, Rhythm & Reason is about the sounds and influences that moved Bhi Bhiman growing up: the classic soul and R&B of artists like Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes. Add a dash of Soundgarden and a heaping helping of Bhiman's biggest hero, comedian George Carlin, and you have the recipe for the new songs and stories that this fascinating artist brought to his recent visit to Studio A.