Missouri Air Guard vocalist savors spotlight of NLCS, sings at World Series
By Bill Phelan, Special to the 131st
/ Published October 24, 2011
ST. LOUIS, Mo -- As the St. Louis Cardinals play the Texas Rangers in the World Series, a member of the St. Louis-based 571st Air Force Band of the Missouri Air National Guard made preparations of his own.
While still savoring his opportunity to sing "God Bless America" during game three of the National League Championship Series Oct 9, Staff Sgt. Brian Owens learned he would perform the same song in game one of the World Series.
"The Cardinals asked me to come back," Owens said.
A Belleville, Ill. native now living in Ferguson, Missouri, Owens, 33, is a vocalist with Sidewinder, the rock band element of the 571st that gained international fame via a YouTube video of their cover of "Rolling in the Deep," by Adele. The 571st, also known as The Air National Guard Band of the Central States, is headquartered at the 131st Bomb Wing at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and is one of 11 regional Air National Guard bands in the country.
Having sung before large crowds at youth events in San Antonio and New Orleans, Owens was none the less impressed by the spectacle of the national spotlight and the Major League playoffs.
"It was cool," Owens said of his performance at the NLCS. "Because it was a playoff game there was a whole different atmosphere - a different energy, a different vibe. Then, when I walked out, I got to stand behind home plate at the new stadium, which I have never done before."
While sound reverberation can be a real issue for anyone singing in a sports stadium, Owens said he did not have that problem.
"I don't sing from what I'm hearing, I sing in my head," he explained.
Basking in the national spotlight might become a common occurrence for Owens who recently signed a recording deal with St. Louis-based Destined to be Number One Records.
"We've already started recording," Owens said. "It's going to be an American Soul album."