Tom Keifer may be known as the singer, songwriter and guitarist of multiplatinum-selling rock band Cinderella, but he has been forging a new path as a solo artist for several years.
The multi-instrumentalist brings his blues, rock and country roots to The Forge in Joliet Dec. 7 for a show with special guests melodic rock band Enuff Z’Nuff from Blue Island.
“On the road we play all the Cinderella songs people would want to hear. Those are a big part of my history. I still love playing those songs. Everyone still wants to hear them,” said Keifer via phone from his home in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I’ve always been a sucker for ballads. I love ‘Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)’ and ‘Nobody’s Fool.’ Both of those are always fun to sing and something I really feel on stage. ‘Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)’ is one of the songs I sing with my wife Savannah in the show.
“It’s similar to the album version but there are a few arrangement changes to make it a little bit fresher with my band. That’s been really fun to do. As far as uptempo stuff I’ve always loved singing ‘Shelter Me.’”
Keifer (www.tomkeifer.com) is touring with #keiferband: his wife, Savannah Keifer (vocals, percussion, piano), Tony Higbee (guitars, vocals), Billy Mercer (bass, vocals) and Kendra Chantelle (vocals, percussion) along with new band members Jarred Pope (drums) and Kory Myers (keyboards, vocals).
“This new project and band being out on the road is a real cool combination of playing the Cinderella stuff alongside the new stuff. It all mixes really well,” Keifer said.
The tour is in support of Keifer’s “The Way Life Goes — Deluxe Edition,” which was released in October on Cleopatra Records. The original 2013 album was remastered by Richard Dodd (Kings of Leon, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum).
“We wanted to make sure what we were adding to it was special. A lot of deluxe editions go back to the original sessions. We actually recorded new tracks, one of them being a duet with Lzzy Hale on ‘Nobody’s Fool,’ which was something that came about on tour,” Keifer said.
“When we were supporting the original record we did some shows together. She and I ended up singing that song together. It was received really well.”
Also popular on the road is Keifer and his bandmates’ version of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends,” which fans have asked for in studio form and is the other new song on “The Way Life Goes — Deluxe Edition.”
The new studio tracks recorded by three-time Grammy Award winner Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Stapleton), Keifer said, are “unique and special to this project and record.”
The bonus DVD, he added, “has a great documentary of us all working in the studio last year putting things that really make sense with the record instead of just any old thing. I really love this new artwork. It’s pretty extensive packaging. He’s an amazing artist.”
The six-panel digipak was designed by artist David Calcano, creator of the Fantoons comic strip series, and features 20 pages of one-of-a-kind illustrations depicting each song.
Cinderella songs including “Shake Me,” “Somebody Save Me” and “Gypsy Road” were driven to popularity thanks to people’s fascination with music videos.
“It just was such an amazing experience in the 1980s to come out in that time with the advent of MTV. It was a very creative and colorful decade for all genres of music from that time period, be it pop or hard rock. A lot of the new wave stuff from that era was really cool,” Keifer recalled.
“That was a great time to be making music and touring. We certainly had a great time on the road supporting those studio records we made. It was a blast.”
Writing is underway for a follow-up to “The Way Life Goes” with recording for Keifer’s next solo release planned for the end of 2018 after he is done touring in support of the deluxe edition.
“The band we put together has just been amazing. There’s great chemistry on and off the stage,” he said. “It’s been really rewarding to build something new and take it where we brought it to. I’m really proud of it.”