“…You ain’t got to be born out in the sticks with a F-150 and a 30-06. Or have a Bubba in the family tree to get on down with me…” That line is from Blake Shelton’s hit, ” Hillbilly Bone” , and you couldn’t find a better line for Saturday’s Next of Kin show at Doc Holliday’s. You don’t have to be country or from the country in order to have a good time with country music. Case in point: Next of Kin.
The multi-RockErie Music Awards-winning band played back-to-back nights over the weekend and they didn’t have a hard time filling the bar with fans. “You’ve shoulda been here the other night. The dance floor was so full, you could barley move around”, said Mike Mannarino of Next of Kin. Lucky for me, I was there Saturday night where I had some room to navigate around getting different picture angles. Like I said, I was lucky because when Next of Kin plays, they bring in lots of fans and great music.
They played tunes of Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Keith Anderson, Chris Ledoux, Tim McGraw and more. Perhaps the reason they sound so good comes from the perfectionist in the group: “Rev’” Bill Krasinski on the guitar. If he didn’t hear something right, he wanted the soundboard tweaked. Perhaps being the perfectionist got him his “other” nick-name, but that’s a question you will have to ask him. If Krasinski has the ear for sound, then a sound I expect to hear from a country band is a fiddle. To me, when I think of a country band, you have to have a fiddle. Well, that is just what Next of Kin has.
Bill Garfield is the man of the band when it comes to the fiddle. Playing songs to a “T”, he doesn’t stop his skill with just one instrument. You can find him playing guitar and the mandolin on several songs throughout the night. But this isn’t a one man show; in fact, it’s more like a six-man show. Rounding out the rest of the group is Mike Mannarino on vocals and guitar, Jeff Wiesen on the bass (and sharing vocals with Mike), Andy Gerbik playing a “key” role on the keyboard, and last but not least, the newbie Tom Buzzaard hammering away on the drums.
What stood out to me about Next of Kin was pure fun they have when they play. Always smiling and having fun. I think that’s why they have been around for over ten years…just having fun and enjoy playing music with their friends. And unlike other bands around town, they will slow the pace down to play some slow ballads.
You don’t have to be “country” to enjoy Next of Kin. I suggest you check out a show of theirs in the near future, you won’t be disappointed. Be sure to check out the full photo gallery (60 images) and don’t forget you can purchase prints of any of them. Y’all come back now.