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Amy Burger

When most people hear mention of Hanson, they immediately picture the fresh-faced, white-bread teen brothers who busted onto the pop scene in 1997 with their first major label release, "Middle of Nowhere," which went 4x Platinum in the U.S. and featured the Grammy-nominated, sun-shiny hit "MMMBop."

Life is heavy, and the world can seem like a cold, harsh place. Sometimes you just need a hug. Other times you need a release – to scream at the top of your lungs, or jump up and down or dance until you literally collapse. Along with his band, Spearhead, Michael Franti offered plenty of opportunities for all of the above as he returned to the Pageant Thursday night.

Fans of live music and tasty barbecue flocked to Columbia, Mo.'s Stephens Lake Park last weekend for the seventh annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival.

It's pretty much impossible to pigeonhole New Orleans-based band the Revivalists into any one genre, because their music is truly a fusion -- a delicious mix of rock, soul, funk and jazz with a dash of reggae and even hip-hop thrown in.

Growing up in St. Louis in the 1970s, in the heyday of Peaches Records and KSHE "Real Rock Radio," I heard a lot of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.

When George Jones passed away in April, Jay Farrar posted this about him on Son Volt's Facebook page: "George Jones epitomized the spirit of country music. He represented the Honky Tonk zeitgeist like no other." Farrar did Jones' legacy proud last night as Son Volt brought its own unique version of honky tonk -- the apropos title of the band's new album -- to a packed house of adoring fans.

Drive-By Truckers have logged a lot of miles over the course of their nearly two-decade existence, both physically and as a band, with a revolving door of members orbiting around its core -- the two remaining founders and co-leaders, Patterson Hood and Mike "Stroker Ace" Cooley.

More than 30,000 music lovers, myself included, headed south last week to Live Oak, Fla. for the eighth annual Wanee Music Festival. Conceived by the Allman Brothers Band nearly a decade ago, the band still holds down the festival with two nights of headlining sets, flanked by their extended "family" of bands as well as other like-minded acts.

Wanee Festival, hosted each spring by the Allman Brothers Band at the Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park in Live Oak, Fla. has grown by leaps and bounds over its nine years to become one of the larger music festivals in the country -- expanding from two days originally to three and 30+ bands performing on multiple stages.

Valentine's Day may be the day of love and romance, but for those in attendance at the Pageant on Thursday, it was a night to get funky, with or without a partner.

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Brian Owens

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Brian Owens is an American soul singer and songwriter from St. Louis. His new album Preach combines grooves, with soul touching lyrics.. Preach is a well produced album that speaks to the modern times,…