Young crooner adds soul to menu at popular El Sobrante eatery

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L.J. Bryant (middle) is performing at Mississippi Catfish over the next several months. (Photos by Mike Kinney).

By Mike Kinney

A rising young soul singer is bringing a new experience to a popular El Sobrante eatery.

The Richmond Standard attended the first in a series of shows featuring L.J. Bryant, a 21-year-old East Bay resident who was born and raised in the southside of Chicago. Bryant is performing “LJ Bryant Experience” live on Friday evenings over the next several months at Mississippi Catfish, located at 4203 Valley View Road, according to restaurant’s owner Thomas Wright.

The show has Bryant performing popular songs by Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Whitney Houston, Frankie B everly and other top artists.

The audience on Thursday, Sept. 14, was particularly spellbound by Bryant’s rendition of Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do For Love.” He followed that up with an equally impressive rendition of the classic “Just the Two of Us,” sung by both Grover Washington, Jr. and Bill Withers. Billy Joel’s ‘ Just The Way You Are.” also made his set list.

At just 21, Bryant approaches the stage, and these well-aged songs, with noted maturity that his audiences can feel. When performing the classics, he said he intends for the audience to feel the full emotional spectrum of the songs’ original intent.

“I what to give them something that is missing in life: the joy of how beautiful music can bring out our true emotions and make us feel at our very best,” Bryant said.

Mississippi Catfish Owner Thomas Wright said the addition of the LJ Bryant Experience is a long-time coming.

“We have been doing our restaurant business over 20 years now, but I thought it was time to return to era of real music and I immediately thought of LJ,” Wright said. “His music represents an era that many people grew up in and have missed being in the record stores and airwaves over the years. So, I made the decision to book him in here and have him perform those songs we all wanted to hear.”

Bryant has additionally performed at Yoshi’s in Emeryville and Vino Godfather Winery in Vallejo, where he opened up for R&B vocalist and song writer Keith Washington.

For further information to book LJ Bryant contact (708) 551-7750 or email [email protected].