They’re on a nationwide tour, but Pittsburgh-based “rock and soul” band The Commonheart will be back on Nov. 9 to play a homecoming show at Stage AE.

By Haley McMonagle

Photo: The group features Abby Gross on saxophone, Anton DeFade on bass, Shawn McGregor on drums, Mike Minda on guitar, Lucas Bowman on keyboards, Nate Insko on trumpet, and Mariko Reid, Kenny Stockard, Michael DeLuca, and Clinton Clegg on vocals. Courtesy of the band

Following the release of The Commonheart’s second album, the 10-piece, Pittsburgh-based band has been touring the country. On Nov. 9, though, they will return home to play Stage AE.

“We just put out our second record, Pressure, on Aug. 16,” said lead singer, Brighton Heights resident Clinton Clegg. “We are going around the country right now. Nov. 9 will be a kind of coming home celebration with the record. It’s definitely the biggest room we’ve played in Pittsburgh to date so we are really excited.”

The band also celebrated their fifth birthday. They were started by Clegg, and drummer, Shawn McGregor, in 2014.

“The drummer and I put the group together and we grew from there,” said Clegg. “We started with just five. We had some turnover and we added some horns and backup singers. We grew over the years.”

The Commonheart has now grown to a group of 10 and features Abby Gross on saxophone,
Mariko Reid on vocals, Anton DeFade on bass, Shawn McGregor on drums, Mike Minda on guitar, Lucas Bowman on keyboards, Nate Insko on trumpet, Kenny Stockard on vocals, Michael DeLuca on vocals, and Clinton Clegg on vocals. The group has continually been working on their sound.

“We like to use the term rock and soul music. Overall we are a rock and roll band, but we have a lot of soul and gospel influence. The genres inspire our general tone,” said Clegg.
The group has played at some memorable venues, and Clegg reminisces on what he considers their best show.

“A show that sticks out in my memory was playing The Fillmore in San Francisco,” said Clegg. “That was our best show. It was a really historic room. Everybody has played there, from Led Zeppelin to The Grateful Dead. You could feel the history in the room and it was just a packed show. It just really felt really good and meant a lot to us.”

After this tour, the band will be returning to Pittsburgh to make more music.

“We are gonna go back to the studio [to] start the third album this winter,” said Clegg. “Just keep building and see where we can take this.”

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