Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Taj Mahal is one of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20th century blues and roots music. Though his career began more than four decades ago with American blues, he has broadened his artistic scope over the years to include music representing virtually every corner of the world – west Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Hawaiian islands and so much more. What ties it all together is his insatiable interest in musical discovery. Over the years, his passion and curiosity have led him around the world, and the resulting global perspective is reflected in his music.

“What a voice Bhi Bhiman has: full-bodied and brawny but delicate” - The New York Times

“A striking singer and penetrating melodist” - Bob Christgau, NPR All Things Considered

“There’s a Flight of the Conchords-style mischief to Bhiman’s writing: a mix of folk oddities, social outrages and sticky black humour” - Drowned in Sound

Bhi Bhiman is an American singer/songwriter. His musical style has drawn a diverse range of comparisons from Rodriguez and Woody Guthrie to Nina Simone and Bill Withers. Bhiman credits his upbringing – the son of Sri Lankan immigrants, growing up in suburban St. Louis – as playing an important role in his songwriting. An accomplished guitarist and clever lyricist, it is Bhiman’s unique voice that truly sets him apart. The Washington Post’s Bill Friskics-Warren has said, “what strikes you first about Bhi Bhiman’s music is his voice — a keening, gender-neutral yawp that’s as earthy as it is ethereal, as puckish as it is wise."

His debut album, BHIMAN, was released independently to critical acclaim, culminating with a performance on the BBC’s Later…with Jools Holland. There he met Soundgarden frontman (and early musical hero) Chris Cornell. Impressed with Bhiman’s performance, Cornell asked him to join his sold out North American tour. Critics and fans praised both his opening set and his feature on songs like Hungerstrike – which they performed together each night.

Other highlights have included a lauded performance at Carnegie Hall in tribute to Prince which Rolling Stone called the most memorable performance of the night, noting “his vocals [gave] off a haunted air that left the crowd speechless”. Bhi also enjoyed co-writing with other artists including like Stax staple William Bell and The Coup’s Boots Riley.

In May, Bhiman will release his follow-up LP, Rhythm & Reason, produced by Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter). The 10 song album reveals more of his soul and R&B influences yet maintains the singer/songwriter tradition for which Bhiman is known.

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