Members

rs:  Jimi Faris-Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar, Andy Snyder-Lead Guitar, Ryan Malashak-Drums, Heather Corbitt-Backing Vocals/Rhythm, Dave Corbitt-Bass/Backing Vocals, Al Funk-Harmonica/Vocals

Jimi Faris-Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Andy Snyder-Lead Guitar
Ryan Malashak-Drums
Heather Corbitt-Backing Vocals/Rhythm/Fiddle
Dave Corbitt-Bass/Backing Vocals
Al Funk-Harmonica/Vocals

Jim Faris - vocals/guitar

Jimi Faris grew up on the outskirts of East St. Louis. His first musical remembrances are a mix of Bible-Belt Gospel and Led Zepplin.  While still a young child, country music came in the form of singing along with Cash, Nelson, Haggard, Owens, and Jennings, among others, playing through the speakers of a Ford truck rolling down a country rock road with its radio set on WIL 92. It’s these early influences that inspire Rat Rod Kings music.  As an adolescent, Jimi was a member of the church choir.  He began writing songs in his early twenties while playing with various rock cover bands and listening to the Alternative Rock bands of the day.  He briefly studied music in college, but never took it seriously.  It wasn’t until a chance meeting with a member of a St. Louis underground rockabilly band, and being exposed to a whole new world of original music mixed with old country and R&B,  that the makings of Rat Rod Kings were born.  

“The name Rat Rod Kings is pretty much synonymous with the phrase against the grain. We can be as nice as a cool breeze on a hot St. Louis summer day, or as mean as a kick in the teeth while slapping your momma.”

Jimi sings through a Sure Super 55 Microphone and plays a Dean Acoustic, Washburn J-6, and a Fender Telecaster through a Peavey Delta Blues Amp.  He has also been known to play a home-made cigar box guitar on occasion.

Heather Corbitt - Background Vocals/Percussion/Fiddle

Heather Corbitt was invited to add backing vocals on the first recording effort by Rat Rod Kings and her performance and enthusiasm added so much to the mix that she was invited to stay! With experience in choral groups, stage productions and an active cover band, she brings a well focused presence on the stage with her voice and percussion talents. Vocally, she pairs well with Jimi Faris during tight harmonies and on stage performances. She showcases her vocal abilities through handling the lead vocals on several songs.  She recently brought her vintage fiddle out to add to the sound of the band.

Dave Corbitt - Bass/Background Vocals

Dave Corbitt adds to the Rat Rod Kings with a diverse musical background ranging from church choir to bar bands. His experience with jazz combos, experimental bands and acoustic folk music led him to join the RRK in late 2011 with a dose of creativity on the bass. “What is old is new” keeps his respect for the country classics and enthusiasm to revive great music as an influence on the band’s originals.

As a staunch believer that music can come from the simplest instruments, he plays on a “franken bass” that he made from parts from under the bench while he was working at a music shop. “It’s comfortable and familiar…sort of like a classic Waylon song.” he says.

Ryan Malaschak - Drums

Coming into the fold in late 2013, Ryan adds his punk-rock influences to the Rat Rod Kings sound.   Starting percussion at the age of 8, some of his early influences are Matt Sorum, Eric Kretz, and several other hard hitting drummers of the late 80's and early 90's.  In and out of several punk/garage/rock bands since the age of 14, Ryan has found a home in Rat Rod Kings.

Influential Drummers:

Jason McGerr - Death Cab For Cute / Eureka Farm
Abe Cunningham - Deftones
Mitch Marine - Dwight Yoakam
Mike Cosgrove - Alien Ant Farm

Al Funk - Harmonica/Vocals

Al was originally introduced to Jim Faris through a mutual musician associate. At that time,  Al was fronting & playing harmonica in another band. Jim invited Al and his band to open for the RRK's first gig at the now defunct Mike's Tavern in 2011. From that point Al was asked to sit in with the RRK's on harmonica on several different occasions. Was also invited to add some harmonica to the RRK's first studio recording, finally becoming a full time member of the RRK's and performed at the first CD Release party. Al has always had a strong blues background and brings that influence to the weave of Rat Rod Kings mixture of music genres.

Andy Snyder - Lead Guitar

Andy started his musical career at the age of 10 on the trumpet. Since there was a piano at home he also took lessons in theory on that instrument. Woodstock and Rock 'n' Roll led him to the organ and his first band at 14 and 3 yrs later he picked up his first guitar. His early influences of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Neil Young, Carlos Santana, Joe Walsh, and Peter Townsend, just to name a few, have led his guitar and improvisational style to where it is today. He played with fusion jazz and progressive rock in the 70's and was an original member of Dancer in 1985. Performing full-time with Dancer for 8 years and in several bands with his long time drummer and writing partner Jimmy Kay after Dancer thru the 90's, he began working on original material with Jimmy Kay in 1995. After performing with their last Funk Rock/R&B/Blues trio The St. Louis Dogs for 7 years, he has moved on to a new adventure in musical genres joining up with the Rat Rod Kings in September 2014.

Currently he is using a Duesenberg Starplayer TV Fullerton as his main axe, a de-tuned Rickenbacker 330, and a Fender Reso-Tele electric resonator. He plays through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe or a Jim Weber JTM45 67 Marshall head with a 2-12 Celestion loaded custom slant cabinet and a Leslie G27 cabinet when desired.