After being told he would never sing again, Tom Keifer has fought the odds and continues with a new solo career and album.
10-Jun-2016: With his passion for singing and writing songs, Tom Keifer has taken on the challenges and overcome a career ending illness to move forward.
Tom started his career in the early 80s as the singer, songwriter, and guitarist for Philadelphia’s blues-rock band, Cinderella. As the music industry changed so did the popularity of the band as it struggled for survival to now sitting in hiatus.
Along the way, Tom was diagnosed with a paralyzed left vocal cord, resulting in numerous surgeries over the years. As part of the therapy, Tom also had to learn to sing again without using the left vocal cord.
With the desire to perform, Tom spent 10 years (from 2003 to 2013) writing and recording songs for a new album with the philosophy “let’s have fun and make a record. When it is done, then it will be done.”
In April of 2013, Tom released his solo album, The Way Life Goes, on Merovee Records, an independent label group through Warner Music Group. Tom and his band have since been touring the country sharing new music from his solo album and Cinderella.
For this evening’s show in Saginaw, Tom came to the stage playing his guitar as the band opened up with Cinderella’s “Once Around The Ride.” As the ride was just getting started, Tom alongside his lead guitarist took turns swapping musical licks that pumped up the crowd and kept them standing as they fist pumped the air and bobbed their heads to the beat.
As the show progressed, the music played throughout the park like waves at sea with low tides of a ballad like “Heartbreak Station” and “Ask Me Yesterday” to rocking out with upbeat guitar power songs like “Somebody Save Me” and “Shake Me.”
Tom took a moment during his show to talk about how the band was missing a member (due to a recent surgery) on this run of shows, and he would like to call that person up and let them know that they were missing a great crowd in Saginaw on this evening. When the phone answered, he told his wife Savannah of the great welcome he received and how he didn’t want to leave at the end of the night because of their “wildly rocking attitude” and hospitality.
With “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” typically sung as a Tom and Savannah duet, he placed the phone on the piano so he could sing to her with backup singer Kendra to help out.
Tom started the song sitting at the piano with a ballad-like tempo before rising off the stool to grab a guitar and raise the roof off the band shell by playing an incredible guitar solo jam before finishing back at the piano.
The set ended with the Cinderella cover of “Shelter Me” that led to the crowd chanting and clapping their hands to a beat to call the band back to the stage.
Racing out for an encore, the band immediately started in on a Rolling Stones cover of “It’s Only Rock & Roll (But I Like It)” before mixing the Beatles together “With A Little Help From My Friends” and a bluesy “Purple Rain” by Prince.
Just as the show started with the ride in, the show concluded with the band preparing to head out on Cinderella’s “Gypsy Road.”
The crowd enjoyed the evening as they reminisced back to their younger years of innocence and the music of the hair metal bands by singing along to the songs while some jammed with their air guitars and others danced in the aisles of the seats and on the grass mound behind.
For Tom, the success of the new music along with reconnecting with his earlier fan base has given him a fresh start to a second career, only this time going solo.
Tom shared the stage this evening with fellow 80s rockers Trixter with their hit song “Give It To Me Good” and FireHouse with their classics “When I Look Into Your Eyes” and “Love Of A Lifetime.”
Tom Keifer setlist:
1. Once Around The Ride (Cinderella), 2. It’s Not Enough (Keifer), 3. Heartbreak Station (Cinderella), 4. Somebody Save Me (Cinderella), 5. Shake Me (Cinderella), 6. Ask Me Yesterday (Keifer), 7. Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone) (Cinderella), 8. Nobody’s Fool (Cinderella), 9. Solid Ground (Keifer), 10. Night Songs (Cinderella), 11. Coming Home (Cinderella), 12. Shelter Me (Cinderella), 13. Encore – It’s Only Rock & Roll (But I Like It), 14. With A Little Help From My Friends / Purple Rain (Beatles / Prince), 15. Gypsy Road (Cinderella)