Tom Keifer is an incredibly gifted talent. His unique voice, emotive guitar and piano playing, along with his knack for crafting memorable songs have made him something of an icon in hard rock circles. He has been the voice and face of Philadelphia’s Cinderella for 30 years. Last month, Keifer finally released his debut solo album, “The Way Life Goes”. On Mother’s Day, he took time out to talk about the album, his first solo tour, and how his songwriting process works.
Keifer, along with bassist Eric Brittingham began Cinderella three decades ago in Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania. Guitarist Jeff LaBar and drummer Fred Coury would soon round out the line-up, which despite some rocky moments along the way, remains together still. While the band began its journey in the hair metal 80s with something of a glam metal style, Keifer’s passion for the blues eventually became more pronounced and the signature of the band shifted.
It is that blues-based style of rock and roll that is the foundation upon which “The Way Life Goes” was built. The album began as a seed two decades ago, and song ideas have germinated and piled up along the way. Each track on the record was meticulously crafted by Keifer, and often with his songwriting wife and co-producer Savannah Snow Keifer.
In the early 90s, Keifer endured what most singers fear most–he lost his voice. He had nodules on on the left side of his vocal chords which required several surgeries and endless recovery exercises. Keifer works on maintaining his vocal health on a daily basis. Though listening to his unique style one is hard pressed to note any difference in his abilities.
This February Keifer struck out on his first ever solo tour (he’s still out there). His wife is along for the trek and at times each night shares the stage with him. Tom admits he was initially nervous at the prospect of touring solo:
“It was a little scary at first. I’ve played with the same band for nearly 30 years. Going out on your own is like being on a little block of ice, floating out to sea, I guess. But I’ve got an incredible band out here, and they’re not only great musicians but they really great guys and we get along really well. And Savannah is out here and she’s part of the show. She comes out and sings some songs with me. The show’s a really nice mix of new songs and we’re doing a lot of the old Cinderella songs so that’s familiar for me. It’s ingrained in me.”
You can listen to the full interview below as Tom shares some early memories of getting started in music, how “The Way Life Goes” came together, the challenges of writing the record, and much more. Check out Tom’s current tour dates here.