The pairs of brothers that make up Citizen Way have a strong reputation as pranksters. Ben and Josh Calhoun along with David and Ben Blascoe may be singing about God and his great love from the stage but watch out if you get on their radar for a practical joke. All of the band members started singing on the church stage at early ages and the Calhoun brothers grew up with their mom teaching them all of their musical skills. The Blascoe brothers each had a different way of finding their musical voices with David choosing the drums in fourth grade after seeing the movie “That Thing You Do” and Ben picking bass because he didn’t want to sit at the piano and practice day after day like his sister.
The four of them met at Judson University right outside of Chicago and their musical paths merged to form Citizen Way. Ben explains, “Judson was a pivotal place for me, it’s where I was able to develop and set my musical and ministry direction. I’m grateful for the school and it’s such a cool privilege to serve as an Adjunct Professor there now.” Touring the country with their first album Love Is The Evidence, the question about the name of the band has come up over and over again. It comes from a few key ideas in scripture that are important to the guys. “Ephesians reminds us that our true citizenship isn’t here on earth, but rather in heaven,” explains Josh Calhoun, “Jesus calls Himself the way and the book of Hebrews talks about the new and living way we have because of Christ’s sacrifice, Acts actually calls believers followers of the way. So Citizen Way is an idea that we’re part of something bigger, God’s kingdom.”
So, back to their penchant for pranks, they locked their road manager in a port-a-pottie then rocked it back and forth, set up brooms against a dressing room door to collapse on the next person walking in and played with MercyMe when they performed “Greater” at this year’s GMA Dove awards. The last one wasn’t really a prank with the exception of the gaudy western shirts MercyMe wore covered in prickly pear cactus! Oh, and Ben declared recently that, if cilantro was a tree he would eat it right off the branches. That has nothing to do with pranks but shows their thought process. And do not go to Chipotle with them unless you like to be embarrassed by them hanging off the tables with no stools beneath them. Yes, that happens regularly. All of this to say that they love to sing about Christ, perform on stage and have kept their senses of humor firmly intact!