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

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.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.

Copyright 2021 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Evie Hemphill joined the St. Louis on the Air team in February 2018. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature in 2005, she started her career as a reporter for the Westminster Window in Colorado. Several years later she went on to pursue graduate work in creative writing at the University of Wyoming and moved to St. Louis upon earning an MFA in the spring of 2010. She worked as writer and editor for Washington University Libraries until 2014 and then spent several more years in public relations for the University of Missouri–St. Louis before making the shift to St. Louis Public Radio.