Sterling Heights resident brings country to Dodge Park stage

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published June 15, 2024

 Sterling Heights resident Bernadette Kathryn and the Lonely Days Band are scheduled to perform June 27 at Dodge Park.

Sterling Heights resident Bernadette Kathryn and the Lonely Days Band are scheduled to perform June 27 at Dodge Park.

Photo provided by The Factory Photography by Goldy, Nashville, Tennessee


STERLING HEIGHTS — A local performer is returning to the Dodge Park stage at the end of this month to put her unique Michigan spin on country music.

Bernadette Kathryn and the Lonely Days Band will perform at 7 p.m. June 27 as part of Sterling Heights’ Music in the Park summer concert series during Dodge Park Thursdays.

Kathryn, 24, from Sterling Heights, said she is looking forward to performing again in the city where she grew up.

From the time she was 5, she was singing onstage at the multiple dinner theaters in metro Detroit that her father owned. She also attended the Warren Consolidated School of Performing Arts in Sterling Heights and learned about stage presence and more there.

She described what it was like to attend the school.

“It was probably one of the best career decisions that I made when I was in school, because it taught me so much about being onstage performing and capturing people’s attention and keeping it,” she said.

“I learned how to be a better dancer. It helped me with my voice. It taught me how to be a better actor. Basically, it shaped me into what you see onstage now.”

Kathryn’s passion for country music grew when she was invited as a 13-year-old to sing at the Nashville Palace. She said that after she came back from Nashville, she formed a band around 2013 or 2014 and named it Bernadette Kathryn and the Lonely Days Band, which was named after the Patsy Cline song “Seven Lonely Days.”

Kathryn said the band started playing locally in bars. She also said she performed at the Sterling Heights Music in the Park summer concert series for the first time when she was 15.

The band also branched out to touring Nashville multiple times per year. When Kathryn was 17, she performed at the Grand Ole Opry. She said her group has also opened for The Band Perry, Chayce Beckham, and a couple of other national acts.

She called The Band Perry’s members “some of the nicest people I ever met.”

“They are so down to earth,” she said. “When we opened for The Band Perry, we were doing sound check. They actually came out and said ... ‘We wish you all the luck. Go have fun.’”

Today, Kathryn and her band continue to play at park concerts, festivals and more. The group’s current “core four” are herself, lead guitarist and founding member Erik Blundell, bassist Brendan Derey and drummer Jim Thiede.

The group performs “Rock’N Country,” which Kathryn describes as “playing new and old country, a little bit of classic rock, and a few pop songs that are all encompassed with ‘Detroit beats’ and a ‘Motor City sound.’”

“When you think of country and you think of Detroit, sometimes it’s hard to picture the two together,” she explained. “There’s also a little bit of soul in my voice, and I take inspiration from where I grew up. I add a little bit of classic rock. It’s a combination. I think it’s a really cool combination.”

Kathryn said that Michigan audiences tend to be more open to hearing everything the band has to offer. She added that a Michigan fan was the first to call her “Detroit’s Country Rebel” due to Kathryn’s musical style and her penchant for wearing Western boots.

Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Director Kyle Langlois said the city is excited to have Kathryn and her band back onstage.

“Last year was rainy and our residents did not get a chance to fully experience the talented hometown singer and group, so we are looking forward to better weather and rocking crowd,” Langlois said in a text.

“Sterling Heights is home to so many talented musicians and we are proud to have Bernadette Kathryn as a resident and ambassador for our city as she continues to rise on the national scene.”

With her return to the Sterling Heights stage, Kathryn reflected on how she and her hometown have evolved over the years, especially as she has grown more successful.

“I feel like I’ve more changed than the city itself, and it’s all thanks to Sterling Heights, and it’s all thanks to the people who have surrounded and supported me,” she said.

Learn more about Bernadette Kathryn and the Lonely Days Band by visiting Learn more about Dodge Park, 40620 Utica Road, and Dodge Park Thursdays by visiting