Bobby was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where he developed a passion for gut bucket blues. He honed his skills working in clubs throughout Southern California. Bobby got his start in the blues when a friend took him to the world renowned and oldest blues club in Los Angeles, Babe's & Ricky's Inn. The owner and operator of Babe's & Ricky's, "Mama" Laura Mae Gross, is known for cultivating blues talent. After hearing Bobby play, Mama Laura took an immediate liking to Bobby and gave him the name, "Bobby 'Soul Man' Bryan". Bobby subsequently became a member of the house band at Babe's & Ricky's, The Mighty Balls of Fire. For more than three years, Bobby played five sets per night, five nights per week with the Mighty Balls of Fire.
Babe's & Ricky's served as a testing ground and launching pad for Bobby. It was at Babe's that Bobby met Grammy winning blues artist, “Arkansas” Larry Davis. Larry took Bobby under his wing prior to his death and took Bobby on his first professional tours in the U.S. Larry also gave Bobby a few vocal lessons. Other well known blues artist Bobby played with during his tutelage at Babe's, include Keb Mo’, Lowell Fulsom, King Ernest, Louie Bluey, Mickey Champion, Ray Bailey, Joe Houston, Zac Harmon, Deacon Jones, Finis Tasby, and Guitar Shorty.
In the mid 90s, Ray Bailey introduced Bobby to Los Angeles-based blues artist, Smokey Wilson. Smokey liked Bobby’s energy as well as his feel for Mississippi or “countrified” Blues, as Smokey referred to them, and quickly hired Bobby as his band leader. Bobby toured extensively with Smokey and had the opportunity to back up Johnny Copeland and his then 16 year old daughter, Shemekia when Smokey and Johnny shared a date in Greenwich Village.
Bobby is a true Blues man. He has played with some of the best in the business and can hang with anybody. He has opened for Albert Cummings and Shemekia Copeland, and many many other national artist. Bobby has been coached by some of the greatest blues artist in the world, including the late Albert Collins and Bobby Bland’s guitarist, Wayne Bennett. Bobby is a exceptional vocalist and incredible guitarist. Don't miss an opportunity to see Bobby with his band, Bobby Bryan and the Original Downtown Players. It's just a matter of time before the world discovers this great talent.
Bobby Bryan and The Original Downtown Players are the winners of the 2007 Madison Blues Challenge and proudly represented Wisconsin for the first time ever at the 2008 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.