Possessing a sound tapped from the oaken belly of a whiskey barrel, The Commoners are a 4 piece Roots/Rock outfit from Toronto, Canada. Offering their own blend of a tried and true musical mixture, the group pepper their sound with high-energy riffs, soulful vocals, and rich harmonies that combine to take the listener on a journey through a Southern-style rock experience.
The group was cobbled together over the course of a decade, restructuring and adapting through numerous obstacles to form the unit as it exists today: Chris Medhurst (vocals/guitar), Ben Spiller (bass), Ross Citrullo (lead guitar), and Adam Cannon (drums). Often joined by their friend, organist Miles Evan Branagh, The Commoners unite under a shared dream: to write, perform, and share music that is an authentic nod to the greats who paved the way before them.
“The Black Crowes are a big influence for us. Derek Trucks, Marcus King, and the Allman Brothers, of course. These are the bands that we aspire to wear on our sleeves as we create our own music.”
Channeling their deep respect and admiration for Roots/Rock trailblazers, The Commoners incorporate rhythmic stylings inspired by Motown’s groove masters, and emotive vocals akin to Sam Cooke and Otis Redding to capture a sound that is very much of the here and now.
Their 2022 self-titled release is an album that demands attention from the first note. The opening lines, “I scream at the top of my lungs, and stamp my feet, ’til the floor comes undone,” immediately inform that a wild ride lies ahead. Recorded in Toronto at RHC Music, and produced by guitarist/producer Ross Hayes Citrullo alongside executive producer Renan Yildizdogan, The Commoners crafted a record which strikes the perfect balance between new and old, fresh yet familiar.
The album’s lyrical themes drill into the essence of humanity: love, regret, ambition, and fear. Circling the forever challenge of doubt vs. desire, The Commoners place themselves into the shoes of the everyman. The result? Nine tracks that act as a comfort and companion through all of life’s trials and tribulations, with melodic solos, soaring organ, and a punchy rhythm section to drive the messages home. Drummer Adam Cannon says, “Music, like so much in life, is about the exchange of energy,” and The Commoner’s make more than a fair trade. Striving to present an impactful, memorable, and downright exhilarating live experience that accurately represents their recorded works, the band carries the listener over soaring choruses and group chants, before returning them back to earth in need of a shot of something smooth. You can expect to leave fully satisfied, sweat drenched, and heart-racing, a good time guaranteed—just what we all need.
As a collective, we find ourselves emerging into a changed society, with uncertainty looming and shadowing the future. In their upcoming release, The Commoners remind us that music has a unique ability to heal, a medicine of extraordinary merit, and balm for the soul during dark times. Every major movement in history gave rise to change makers, and The Commoners are taking their stand, here to lead and inspire us all to find a better way.