Get ready to rock in Brockville July 4 with 1000 Islands House Concert show

Kentucky will perform in Brockville July 4. – Submitted photo

Musical artists Kentucky and Black Suit Devil aim to make Brockville rock as they double-headline the next 1000 Islands House Concerts show on July 4 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. 

Kentucky is a solo rock and roll artist who writes, records, produces and performs his own music. The musician started off in Edmonton, but moved to Toronto in 2006 to pursue his musical ambitions with his band. When the singer moved to Almonte, Ontario, he was in the midst of a large break from music due to some difficult life circumstances. He told Brockvilleist, “For so long, I couldn’t even look at my guitar. I hadn’t played or created music in almost eight years.”

However, while settling into his new home in Almonte during the COVID-19 pandemic, a surprise romance with his next-door neighbours’ daughter seemed to light a spark of joy and creativity within the musician. He landed on the stage name “Kentucky”, inspired by a private joke between him and his girlfriend, and his official musical debut was in August of 2023. He describes this period of his life as a rebirth.

“This is a second chance. I’m self-published so far and this is literally a second chance for me. There’s so much good to come so I’m thankful for this second wave of opportunity.”

Over the last 10 months, it’s been full steam ahead for Kentucky as he has released seven singles and music videos. His newest single  “Wonder” came out earlier this week on June 24, and the artist describes this song as a depiction of his self-evolution throughout this latest chapter of his career and personal life. 

Kentucky’s live shows showcase his unique voice, backed by powerful and dynamic acoustic and electric guitar work. He describes his shows as a mutual exchange of energy.

“As will all rock and roll music, I love when the audience and the performer join together. I’m going to generate this performance for you, the songs are mine but the performance is for you. So if you like it, I hope you’ll get up and give that energy back to me.” 

Andy Du Rego, aka Black Suit Devil, will perform in Brockville July 4. – Submitted photo

The event’s other co-headliner, Andy Du Rego, who goes by the stage name “Black Suit Devil”, is a folksy rock and roll singer originally from Toronto. He is of Portuguese and African descent, with his family hailing from the Azores Islands in Portugal and Cape Verde in Africa. Du Rego’s diverse singing and songwriting style is inspired by multiple genres, including rock, folk, blues, soul and country. 

When speaking with Brockvilleist, Du Rego shared, “My music has changed over the years. When I first started performing in bands I was primarily playing guitar in heavy metal/hard rock bands but also doing backup vocals. I spent years doing that in the Toronto scene learning my craft. I later went on to front my band, The Blues Emergency, a band that is still going strong since 2012.”

The musician explained that around 2014, he started experimenting with playing acoustic guitar and more of a folk-rock sound. He found the confidence to embrace the quality of his raspy voice after discovering the music of Ray Lamontagne.

“I formed Black Suit Devil that summer of 2014 writing a bunch of new acoustic material and performed my first show in January of 2015,” Du Rego said. “The release of my new album, “The Eternal Sleep,” out this Friday, June 28, marks the 10th anniversary of Black Suit Devil.”

In terms of what the audience can expect, Du Rego expressed, “I really give all of my heart and soul at every performance I do. Someone once told me that people don’t go to shows to listen to music, they go to feel something. I make it my duty to connect to my audience through my performances, lyrics, and talks in between songs.”

The musician explained that he has been performing in Brockville since 2017 and he still remembers his first two shows, a doubleheader, at Spitfire Cafe and Finnegans Tavern.

“Last year I had a five-week long residency at 1000 Islands Brewing, performing every weekend and also performed there on my co-headlining “Rising Sun Tour ” with singer-songwriter Russ Robson. Brockville has always been great to me over the years.”

The 1000 Islands House Concerts are open to all and instead of traditional tickets, admission is by donation. Organizer Amanda Keeley believes this payment model will help keep live music accessible for all those in the community.

“We want to foster an environment where artists have an opportunity to connect and grow their audience and for our community, creating opportunities where they can still attend live music events where they don’t have to break the bank and know they are part of something special in helping support these artists on their journey,” Keeley told Brockvilleist.

The event does offer complimentary coffee, tea and water, however, guests are welcome to bring their own food and drink or can contribute some goodies to the community snack table if they would like. 

Due to the limited seating in the intimate venue, the organizers ask that you reserve your space in advance by emailing 1000islandshouseconcerts@gmail.com or by calling 613-340-3053.

For information on the Open House Jam Nights, Keeley advises you to email livefromthemic@gmail.com.


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