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Brian Owens To Feature, Honor Fellow Ferguson Native Michael McDonald This Weekend

Singer-songwriter Brian Owens joined Friday's program.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The artistic path of Brian Owens has long charted both tribute territory and totally new ground, and Owens is known to navigate both well. The local singer-songwriter’s 2017 album “Soul of Cash” premiered via Rolling Stone, and that same year Owens released the song “For You,” showcasing the vocals of five-time Grammy winner Michael McDonald alongside his own.

McDonald and Owens share a hometown — Ferguson, Missouri — and are collaborating musically again this Sunday during a benefit concert at the Touhill Performing Arts Center celebrating McDonald’s legacy.

Owens joined St. Louis on the Air’s Sarah Fenske on Friday to discuss the event, which is billed as “A Night for Life” and also features “The Voice” contestant Kennedy Holmes. Owens also discussed his journey as a musician and community activist.

In addition to continuing to record original music as well as timeless classics, Owens heads up LIFE Arts, a locally focused nonprofit that provides underserved young people with artistic resources, mentorship and positive experiences. He’s also an artist-in-residence at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

That local involvement so close to his heart hasn’t kept him from making his mark nationally, too, over the years. Owens’ past gigs include venues ranging from New York’s Apollo Theater to the World Series, and he also performed for former first lady Michelle Obama at the White House in 2012.

Listen to the conversation and some music as well:

Related Event
What: A Night for LIFE with Michael McDonald, Brian Owens & Kennedy Holmes
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019
Where: Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL (1 University Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63121)
NOTE: Tickets are required for this event and are available here.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan, Alexis Moore and Tonina Saputo. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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Evie was a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.