With his new single “For You,” vibrant soul singer Brian Owens bridges a racial and generational divide, sharing vocals on the electrifying tune with five-time Grammy winner Michael McDonald. Backed by Owens’ band, the Deacons of Soul, the singers, who also share the same hometown – the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri – conjure up the spirits of such Motown legends as Marvin Gaye and the Temptations in an exuberant track celebrating love both human and divine.
“It is rare for me as an artist to have the opportunity to share the mic or express my gratefulness to my musical heroes, given that so many of them have passed,” Owens tells Rolling Stone Country. “To have the opportunity to do both with Michael McDonald on a song that so encapsulates our shared love of soul music and humanity is a blessing on so many levels.”
Written and produced by Owens, “For You” immediately caught McDonald’s ear when the two artists were on tour together in 2015, with the former Doobie Brothers lead singer asking Owens if it was an old Motown track.
The tune, which will be available digitally beginning January 6th, is featured on Owens’ upcoming LP, The Soul of Ferguson, due February 24th.
In addition to his burgeoning music career, Owens has partnered with the St. Louis Symphony and the Sterling Bank for Life Community Partnership to create Life Songs, a music-therapy program in which Maryville University students help middle-school students express their feelings by creating song lyrics and instrumentals.