Gone Country Crazy

By Jenna Croyle

Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music.

The term country music is used today to describe many styles and subgenres. In 2009 Country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, and second most popular in the morning commute.

Since 1925 the national standard for the best Country music has been the Grand Ole Opry, since 2001 though, the standard for top shelf kick’n Country in Erie has been this week’s featured band, Next of Kin.

With more than 100 years of musical savvy between the members, Next of Kin is made up of Bill Krasinski on Vocals, Slide Guitar and Lead Guitar; Michael Mannarino on Vocals and Rhythm Guitar; Bill Garfield on Fiddle, Guitar and the Mandolin; Jeff Wiesen on Bass and Vocals and Andy Gerbik on Keyboard and Vocals, along with Thomas “Spike” Buzard on Drums and Percussion.

Next of Kin covers the music of Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Keith Anderson, Chris LeDoux, Tim McGraw and many more.

With a stunning and energetic stage show, a remarkably magnetic connection with the audience and a smooth and powerful delivery of the music, Next of Kin is truly the total Country music package.

Having won the 2005 WOLF 93.9’s People’s Choice Award for favorite Country Band, and being nominated several times, and being honored in 2010 and 2011 as the RockErie Music Award’s Best Country Band, Next of Kin is without doubt the best of the best that Erie music has to offer.

The vocals of Michael Mannarino are simply stellar, from the classic sound to the new, more modern country technique, Mannarino hits all the right notes and picks off every song with perfection.

The note for note perfect Fiddle frenzy of Bill Garfield is sincere and electrifying, giving a nice spice to the music that might make even the great Charlie Daniels say, “Well you’re pretty good ol’ son.”

The multi-talented Bill Krasinski plays both the Slide Guitar and Lead Guitar like a man possessed, for the biggest and best sound with beautiful tone and exceptional vibrato on the bottleneck.

The Bass lines of Jeff Wiesen are passionate and intense with Wiesen being a high-energy dynamo of a Bassist, creating his own unique bass lines in various situations and styles.

The key work of Andy Gerbik is pulsating and intense as he releases some serious virtuosity with every note he plays. Gerbik gives a life to the music that just will not stop with flavors ranging from smooth and vibey, to tough and gritty. Gerbik’s smok’n keys set every song on fire.

Thomas “Spike” Buzard sets the tone and carries the beat like no other, hammering out the hard-hitting chops and radical rhythms that catch people off guard and turns everyone’s legs to Jell-o.

You do not have to be a “Country” fan to enjoy Next of Kin. If you love a Rock’n crazy party, or just love to hear a tight live band do what they do best, Next of Kin is your one stop shop, full service explosion of the most hard-hitting, superstar style good time power Country band that you will ever see without paying forty dollars a ticket.

For more information on Next of Kin and their show dates, please visit their Facebook page.




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