PART 1, MISSOURI:
Formed in January 1990, LAST RITES was born from the ashes of the band, BRAINSTORM (Which consisted of LAST RITES members, Christopher D. Corridino, Donny Haight and Daniel G. LaMantia, who was the Lighting Technician). Founding member and Guitarist/Vocalist, Christopher D. Corridino (referred to as "Cris", from here on out), met founding Bass Player, Paul "Murph" Murphy, at an Air Force squadron meeting in November of 1989, on Whiteman AFB, Missouri. This is where Cris was stationed after his 3 1/2 year tour of duty at Rhein Main AB, West Germany. Cris and Murph hit it off, musically, right away, and began talks of starting a band together. They met Drummer, Jeff Cantey, in January of 1990. The three soon began writing new material, as well as borrowing from the playlist of BRAINSTORM (one song being, "What Do I Tell My Children?", and the music for "I'm Still Crazy"). Their first several gigs were mainly outdoor parties, until they got their first break as an opening act in Warrensburg, Missouri. The bar, known as "Bodies", was located on "Pine St." It was a popular hangout for the rougher college kids, and locals. Murphy had openly expressed his desire to ride up to that gig on his Harley, grab his Bass, and play! He fulfilled his long-sought-after desire, but this was just the beginning of one HELL of a roller coaster ride. Less than a year after, "Murph" introduced the band to his Air Force co-worker, and Guitarist, Gene Ames. The Band recruited Dave Arrowsmith for Sound and Daniel LaMantia to run the lights, once again. They started playing ALL OVER the Mid-West. Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Colorado.
After a night of partying in Kansas City, Mo. with friends Mark and Tiger Orvik (Mark, a member of the Section 8 comedy troupe, in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area), Cris was at Mark's apartment, when Nature called. He was frantically looking for some toilet paper, but finding nothing more than the classified ads in The Kansas City Star Newspaper. But just when he was about to complete his mission...he noticed an ad for a recording studio. It read: "32-Track Studio, $20.00 per hr., (816) 363-TUNE". That was the beginning of a four year recording adventure with Evan Smalley, the "fifth Beatle" in the Last Rites ensemble. This was due in part to his ability to play several alternative instruments that speckled the entire future CD. LAST RITES line-up changed completely over the next 7 years, Cris and Daniel remained the constant...to this day. Donny Haight replaced Jeff Cantey in 1993. He was one of the original architects for the songs "What Do I Tell My Children, and "I'm Still Crazy". Donny re-recorded all of the drums on their debut CD, "(music from) A Dream From The Heartland", with an exception of "Can You Come Out To Play?", and "Daddy's Little Girl". Jeff Cantey's performance really suited those songs, and was unchanged. "Murph" left the band in the early winter of 1993, and was replaced with local Bass phenom, Mike "Heavy Mel" Moellman. He was a VERY skilled musician. He is a phenomenal Jazz Bassist in the Kansas City area these days. When Gene left a few months later, Klent Kahler stepped into a Rhythm guitar slot. He quickly became a great writing partner with Cris. The compositions they wrote together lifted LAST RITES out of the 80's metal era, and straight into a dark, Alternative sound. 1994 was a very interesting year for The Band. Many changes, but the CD that was promised since 1991, was finally becoming a reality. The "finishing touches" were comprised of several samples that were recorded during the process, many of the alternative instruments that Evan recorded, and some tweaking here, and there. The reason they were even placed on the CD was because the music had already become some-what dated. The CD's completion was right at the peak of the "Grunge-era", so they delayed the recording by making it into a sound track to a screenplay Cris was writing. It was based on the characters in the song "Big Dreams". The content of that song became the basis of the CD. All the songs were arranged in a way to create the story about a young man named "Billy". The recording was nothing less than spectacular. It had an Ebb and Flow to it that was so far beyond the band, that it was inevitable it would fail. Their styles had already changed, and re-creating the instrumentation on that disc was extremely difficult. So they devised an idea to incorporate "Live" acting, Big Screen images, and an "orchestra pit" band to enact the story of Bill, in a Broadway-style approach. The actors would portray the characters in the screenplay that Cris wrote, while the band played in between acts. The "big screen" would show the dream sequences, and the memory flashbacks (in previously recorded scenes), most likely in black and white. This idea grew, and as time closed in on their departure from the Mid-west to sunny, SW Florida...so did their excitement. It was in March of 1995 that they decided to move, and leave their friends, girlfriend's, and fans...behind. This is a move that is still argued about, to this day, as to whether or not they should have done it. It was what it was...the beginning of the end for the "name" LAST RITES. "CARNIVAL OF SOUL" would soon be born!
PART 2, FLORIDA:
The first "unraveling of the seams" came with the departure of Mike Moellman, three months before they were slated to leave for the beaches of SW FLA. ENTER: Jeff Jones, from ORGAN GRINDER. A Punk/Thrash/Rockabilly act with WAY too much energy!!! He stepped in to fill Moellman's shoes, and did a phenomenal job. Sadly, he did not make the move with them. (This isn't the last we hear of Jeff...BUT...that is another tragic story that will remain a band secret). They were well established in the mid-west, and truly had a shot at some success, by the way things were going. The move to Florida was very trying on the band's personal lives. It definitely took it's toll on them. They managed to get signed in late 1995, to Reindeer Records, out of Portland, Maine. Cris (Dino) has the brilliant idea of calling record companies, and try to get a deal. He tried several companies, but no luck. Determined to find someone who would listen, Cris finally reached Louis Phillipe, the president of Reindeer Records, and convinced him that "(music from) 'A Dream From the Heartland'" was great, and deserved a chance, regardless of the changing music scene. He sent them a contract a month later. They signed that contract while they were playing the first track off the new CD, "Anyway The Wind Blows", on-stage at "The Loony Bin", in Port Charlotte, Florida, November 18, 1995. About 250 people witnessed the event, and it was a night we will ALL remember...forever. That was a great Thanksgiving, but something was wrong, and you could feel it. Donny and Clint decided to go back to Missouri, and visit family for the Christmas holiday. When they returned to Port Charlotte, a few weeks later, they were different. Their personal lives were in shambles, and they could not take the pressure of being away from their loved one's, so they decided to leave The Band on Super Bowl Sunday, January 28, 1996. They left without saying "good-bye", on Tuesday, January 30, 1996. Less than three months after they signed the one year deal with Reindeer Records, shattering the hopes of a tour, and abandoning a CD they worked for so many years to make. There was also some dispute about the labeling of the first CD's jacket. The Record Company name was not placed correctly on the label, and they wanted them to fix it, but they were broke, and couldn't afford to re-label THOUSANDS of CD's. Louis, and the label, lost faith in LAST RITES, and were dropped after a year. Dave Arrowsmith left a few months after that.
They went drummer-less for a few months, but formed an acoustic project called "Heartland". Jeffory W. Marlowe (Flute/Clarinet) joined Cris, and locally respected rock critic, Dawn Scire, began managing them... but they were unmanageable, and depressed. Still shell-shocked from their losses. They did go to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and played most of the LAST RITES songs acoustically, but it wasn't LAST RITES. They almost stayed a few extra days to go play for free at Centennial Park. That decision to stay was "nixed" because of the dwindling funds. So they headed home a day before a terrorist bombing took place in the exact place they were to play the next day. When they arrived home, they fervently looked for a drummer to take the place of founding member, Donny Haight. After 13 auditions, they found Jim Stein, and began work on their 2nd CD, "Persistence...No Excuses (and absolutely no apologies)", which featured much of the band's work prior to Donny and Clint's departure. But when founding member, Paul "Murph" Murphy, left the band...the ending of an era was near. Another problem to plague The Band was that the name "Last Rites" had a copyright. So the name was officially retired. July 11, 1997 was the last gig LAST RITES ever played.
"CARNIVAL OF SOUL" was born in August, of 1997. The name was inspired by the KISS album. "Carnival of Souls". At the time, a pirated copy of the unreleased recording was floating around everywhere, and KISS fans loved the Dark, Heavy sound. It happens to be one of Cris's favorite KISS albums to date. Cris dropped the “S’ at the end because it was more about MUSIC, than a Circus Haunting. It was a re-birth into a newer age for the band with a new name, but a husband-wife management team entered to clean up a very talented mess. They were very strict with the boys, but soon got them (back) into tip-top shape. The two (Steve and Patti) took on a very demanding job. The band started to show some real contention, opening for such acts as Steppenwolf, Blue Oyster Cult, Warrant, Nazareth, and a slew of other aging beauties, as well as performing at the 1998 MTV Spring Break gala. Around that time, Jim "Bones" Argentino, took the reigns of the drummer duties. He was retired when Patti and Steve’s daughter, Jessica, found “Bones” at a snow cone shop in North Port, Florida. He loved the 1st CD that Jess gave him, and came out of retirement…again. He is one of the greatest drummers the band ever had...Matt Blake joined them (several times, on and off) on Bass, when the "road" became too much for Murph. Time went on, and they lost Jeff and Matt, but got Kenny Thomas to play Bass. He was the Lead Guitar player for the locally known blues band, "Southland Blues Band". They began their, as of yet, unreleased CD..."Riding the Kharma Train". BUT...after several bad turns in the road of life, that line-up called it quits. Kenny went back to "Southland...", Bones joined a COVER band, and Cris decided to raise his kids full time, and sing for an area cover band . The dream seemed over.
Cris began gathering all the unreleased music that LAST RITES recorded, after the move to Florida. It was quite the task, but he finally finished it in early 2003. Then the fever hit...again. He went on-line to look for some musicians, and met Rick Trucksess through a classified ad. They realized they shared the same dream. He later re-located to Florida and began to fill in for some HUGE shoes, left vacant from a huge personality. It was tough, but the end result was one of the heaviest sounding incarnations of CARNIVAL OF SOUL, to date. This also featured an additional guitar player, Gary Tholander. Gary gave the bottom end that the band was looking for, at the time. Bass Player, Jeremy Piquette, joined the "Carnival", and they all went back to UNITY GAIN Studio to complete "Riding The Kharma Train", almost 5 years in the making. They released the CD in August 2005, which proved to be the best CD recorded by Cris and his mates, in a long time!!
In the meantime, Cris did a solo CD, "Just Me, My Old Analog 8-trk., A Six-Pack, And The Oncoming Heart Attack" (1996-2003). Two independent CARNIVAL OF SOUL CD's, "Things Left Unfinished, Words Left Unsaid"(1996-2003), and "The Basement Tapes"(1996-2003). But Cris never officially released them.
2006 brought new disasters for Cris and the boys. After several struggling months with the burden of juggling a band, a job, a girlfriend, and a baby, Jeremy had to leave the band. Cris got Matt Blake to do the last few shows on the books, but eventually backed away from the "live" aspect of a rock band, and focused ALL his abilities into making another CD. Content with the recording process, Cris found himself deep into the guts of a new disc. In August of 2007, Carnival of Soul was blessed to record with Karen Tuttle, a Venice area Violinist/Violist. She is a member of the Venice Symphony, member of the Barry Manilow Orchestra, and has her own quartet, which is OUTSTANDING!! They were also extremely blessed to have area Keyboard Phenom, Sean Bryan join the Band. He was a former music teacher, and music store owner. Florida born and raised. And last, but not certainly least, Jessica Dawn Ripple on the Flute, and vocals, as the newest recording member of Carnival of Soul. She is a graduate of The Unity Gain School, and is a classically trained musician with lots of "soul" to add to the "Carnival..."
The New line-up was writing, recording, and performing around the S.West Florida area. Playing with bands such as The Bullet Boys, and Gibson Cage (who Sean and Dino, actually recorded, and performed with) up until 2009, when Jess and Karen left to pursue other goals.
Dino (Cris), Duck (Dan), Sean, and Bones continue playing their originals, and various covers from ALL genres of music, all over the U.S.
2012 marks 15 years as CARNIVAL OF SOUL, and The Band has 2 CD's due for release. The first disc is titled "Chapters: Book Two", and the 2nd, "Chapters: Book One". Both are being recorded, engineered, and mixed at "The Vibe" Recording Studio, Ft. Myers, Florida, by Chad Zuchegna.
Carnival of Soul has played with some great Rock acts…Here is a quick glance at some of the bands they have shared the stage with:
Elvis Aaron Presley, Jr. (COS is his actual Band in Florida), Night Ranger, Girlschool, Nazareth, Warrant, Savatage, Blue Oyster Cult, Steppenwolf, Kip Winger, Tantric, The Bullet Boys, Havoc, Strutter, Cinder, Mortal Reign, Boston, and Robbie Steinhardt (from “Kansas”) to name a few.
This a detailed list of the Musicians, Engineers, and Managers that have been involved with founding member, Cris D. Corridino over the years…
The Current Line-up for “Carnival of Soul“:
Christopher D. Corridino “Dino” (Myst, Strike Force, Brainstorm, Last Rites, Heartland, & COS): Lead and Backing Vocals, Lead and Rhythm Electric and Acoustic 6 & 12 String Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, Percussion, Various Stringed Instruments, Samples and Programming.
Sean Bryan: Keyboards, Synthesizers, Lead and Backing Vocals.
Daniel LaMantia (Light Technician-Last Rites): Bass.
Jim "Bones" Argentino (Last Rites & COS): Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals.
Chuck Ricks (Brainstorm): Rhythm Guitar.
Clint Kahler (Last Rites): Rhythm Guitar.
Gary Tholander (COS.): Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals.
Gene Ames (Last Rites): Lead and Rhythm Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Backing Vocals.
Jeff Evans (Myst/Strike Force): Rhythm Guitar.
Rob Taylor (COS): Acoustic Guitar.
Jason Brown (Heartland): Acoustic Rhythm Guitar.
Barry Dowell (Brainstorm): Bass.
Jeff Jones (Last Rites): Bass.
John Patterson (Myst/Strike Force): Bass.
Ken Thomas (COS): Bass, Backing Vocals.
Matt Blake (COS): Bass.
Mike Moellman (Last Rites): Bass.
Norman Ullman (Strike Force): Bass.
Paul "Murph" Murphy (Last Rites, Heartland, & COS): Bass, Backing Vocals.
The Drummers & Percussionists:
Bob Slattery (Strike Force): Drums.
Jeff Cantey (Last Rites): Drums, Backing Vocals.
Jeff Hard (COS): Percussion.
Jim Stein (Last Rites & COS): Drums.
Martin Carle (Brainstorm/COS [for 1 gig]): Drums.
Rick Trucksess (COS): Drums, Backing Vocals.
Scott Lewis (Brainstorm): Drums.
Donny Haight (Last Rites): Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals.
"Java" Ellis (Heartland): Percussion.
The Keyboardists and Instrumentalists:
James E. Kirk (Brainstorm): Keyboards.
Jeffory W. "Flutie" Marlowe (Last Rites & COS): Flute, Clarinet, Keyboards.
Jessica "Rip" Rippel (COS): Flute, Backing Vocals.
Karen Tuttle (COS): Violin, Viola.
Dave Arrowsmith (Last Rites): Manager, Sound Engineer, Backing Vocals.
Dawn Scire (Last Rites & Heartland): Manager, Book Agent.
Patti & Steve Geisenhoff (LR & COS): Management, Booking, Sound Engineer.
The Guest Vocalists:
Christopher D. Corridino II: Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Samples.
Nicholas G. Corridino: Lead Vocals, Samples.
Norman Tigner (Brainstorm): Vocals.
Tad Cooper (Strike Force): Vocals.
The Engineers and Sound Technicians:
Chad Zuchegna (COS): Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, Bass.]
Anthony Iannucci (Last Rites & COS): Co-Producer, Recording Engineer.
Evan Smalley (Last Rites): Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, Various Stringed Instruments, Samples, Programming.
Bill Hansen (COS): Sound Technician, Computer Programming.
Current Location: South West Florida
General Manager: Carnival of Soul
Artists CARNIVAL OF SOUL respects and admires: Ace Frehley, KISS, Porcupine Tree, The Beatles, Rush, Foo Fighters, Tool, The Blue Man Group, Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, The Dave Matthews Band, Queen, Monster Magnet, Pink Floyd, Sixx A.M...etc...
CARNIVAL OF SOUL's Influences: God, Jesus Christ, Our Moms and some of our Dads, Ronald Reagan, Ace Frehley, KISS, Porcupine Tree, The Beatles, Rush, Foo Fighters, Tool, The Blue Man Group, Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, The Dave Matthews Band, Queen, Pink Floyd...etc...
Band Interests: Recording, Performing, Producing Music. Traveling to where our fans want to hear us, and Providing for our families!
Press Contact: Cris D. Corridino at: CDino2001@comcast.net
Booking Agent: Cris D. Corridino at: CDino2001@comcast.net