Tag Archives: Tom Keifer

Thunder Bay Arena Rocks Top 10 Music Picks for 2019!

This year I thought I would post my Best of Lists a little early. When I think back to the last 12 months of music it was the year of massive reissues of bands like R.E.M/STP/Whitesnake with 2 Reissues!!/Sloan/Def Leppard/Skid Row and the list goes on and on.

BUT …

Some bands and artists put out some new cool quality stuff so hopefully, you may check out some of these acts and artists to see what I dug in the year 2019. Feel free to post your picks in the comments below!

Here we GO!

1-Tom Keifer-RISE: Well looky, looky here. Is it 1989? No way folk’s it’s 2019 and who saw this coming? Tom Keifer shakes it and doesn’t break it as he delivers a solid blast of  CinderRock over 11 tracks that fuse all the old school elements of Cinderella while cementing a future in a really cool current sound that I hope the Keiferband will continue to follow. My favorite release this year, Congrats Tom! You have no idea who the Hell I am but I dig your album.

2-Big Wreck- …but for the sun: Guitar wizard Ian Thornley is back in a big way Folk’s as he cranked up the amps and cuts loose over the 12 tracks on this album.  Ian’s singing/guitaring and writing on this album is phenomenal as well as the two other fellas who helped him out on this as well! Kudos to Dave MacMillian and Chuck Keepling. Locomotive is one unbelievable track!

3-Rival Sons- Feral Roots: Rival Sons basically took over crap rock radio in Thunder Bay with the single Do Your Worst and on this album, the band, and producer Dave Cobb stepped up and kicked down the walls on this opus. Big Loud Fuzz Guitar Rock! How about the drums on Back In The Woods!

4-Carl Dixon- Unbroken: You want a straight-ahead hard rock album with a throwback sound to the roaring ’80s with some fantastic catchy driven rock. Than Unbroken is for you! 11 songs in the Hard Rock AOR spectrum that are pure Gold! Carl’s the definition of Rock n Roll survivor!

5-Jared James Nichols-Black Magic: Jared showed up one night this past April here in Thunder Bay opening for John5 and sizzled mine and Tbone’s brains into mush! JJN is a must-see live as he nails that heavy blues power trio format to a T. This guy is that good live and Black Magic is a stellar album that features all the fine trimmings that Mr. Nichols possess. Watch for this dude in 2020!

6-Page 38-Burning The Midnight Oil: These 4 young fella’s hail from my hometown Thunder Bay and this 5 song EP kicks serious ass. Page 38 came across my radar when they opened for and kicked to the curb ‘Cranky’ Anvil back in May of this year. I quickly scooped up the EP from iTunes as you should do as well! Love the tune Mama June! Click the video below and support our local Boy’s.

‘At Mama Junes, back door liquor store
She got what you want, couldn’t ask for more
Knock three times, 20 under the door, forget what you know
At Mama Junes, back door liquor store ‘

7-Whitesnake- Flesh and Blood: An album I had zero interest in until Ladano and John Snow got into my noggin about how good it was. They were right. Coverdale wrote a batch of tunes with Reb Beach and together they slid out 14 good rock tracks especially Hey You (You Make Me Rock) Plus add the two reissues this year of Slide It In and Slip of the Tongue.  Cov has been one busy dude! All hail the old guy!

8-Sammy Hagar & The Circle- The Space Between: Speaking of an old guy. Crazy to think that Sammy is 71 and has been doing the Rock thing for 5 Decades! That’s longevity in the truest sense. Sammy  with his good pal Micheal Anthony along with Vic Johnson and a drummer whose last name is Bonham released a pretty decent rock record in 2019. Concept album none the less about Greed and Corruption. Trust Fund Baby is a great track and as well the production on this album is old school sounding. No Polish and that’s a good thing.

9-Motley Crue- The Dirt: Never been big on soundtracks but The Dirt soundtrack interested me for some reason or maybe I was bored that week it came out. Dunno but when Tricky Sixx and Tommy muster up some new songs with Bob Rock I’m onboard. 4 new songs 3 of which are originals are ok but the cover tune of Madonna? Ummm. Whatever, still though when you dump a bunch of tracks off the first two albums (Too Fast For Love and Shout At The Devil) the sucker in me will always bite!

10-Sean Kelly-Touch Me: All round Great Canadian Fella Sean Kelly when not playing guitar/singing/songwriting in a bunch of bands (Coney Hatch/Alan Frew/Lee Aaron to name but a few) reactivated his old band Crash Kelly and put out a doozie of a track titled Touch Me which is a Glam Rockers delight. Think Cheap Trick mashed up with The Sweet.  This is Ear Candy. I think we need a full album, Mr. Kelly!

Check back here in a couple of days for another Best OF list with a twist!

Tom Keifer Live In Thunder Bay….July 16 2016….

Kudos to some YouTuber who goes by the name of Rock Soldier2007 who posted a couple of clips of Keifer and Company Rocking The Fort last weekend!

The two songs posted Somebody Save Me and Heartbreak Station are well performed especially Heartbreak Station which blew my mind as it was the third song played and Props to Keifer as this is how you do a slower paced rock track…(I’m not saying the term thats’s used! Ha!) especially when he shifts from the acoustic to the slide during the solo…..

Great show Ol Tom brought to Tbay with some saying Keifer stole the weekend!

Rock The Fort Day 2…The Cult/Cinderfella…….

Saturday July 16 2016…ROCK THE FORT……

First of all the Sun was shining and that’s aways a good thing for outdoor shows as I’ve been to a few where it’s downpoured rain but today it’s about heat!

At around 2 pm our Crew which included along with myself,my wife Sue,Rockin Roberts,Jenna and Uncle Randy parked inside Old Fort Williams Grounds and proceeded to set up shop! Well Randy did as he provided all day Food and Drink for us as we set up shop right in the parking lot! Thanks a bunch Dude!

Uncle Randy along with Jenna. Uncle Randy was the Host as he provided Food And Drinks all day long for the Bunch of us!
Uncle Randy along with Jenna. Uncle Randy was the Host as he provided Food And Drinks all day long for the Bunch of us!
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Uncle Randy In Action! Steak Tacos,Bruschetta   Couscous along with beverages were provided all day! Your The Best Randy!

Doucette….

Jerry Doucette kicked things off with an energetic hour-long set! Impressive as basically  we all know him as the Mama Let Him Play(his big single back in the late 70s) guy. But make no mistake of it he kept us entertained with his singing and guitar playing! Rocking Roberts loved it! Doucette was a good opener…..

ChuckD and Jen....
ChuckD and Jen….

 

HELIX…..

Helix Vocalist Brian Vollmer and Bassist Daryl Gray...
Helix Vocalist Brian Vollmer and Bassist Daryl Gray…

Brian Vollmer I stated many a time you got to hand it to him and give him respect as he takes his craft seriously! Helix today once again delivered and as they hit the stage opening with the title track from 1985’s Long Way To Heaven segues right into Wild In The Streets and the boys aren’t fooling around! Lead and Backing vocals were tight and the boys played fantastic especially Kaleb Duck who has taken over all of previous guitar dude Dr Doerner’s parts and plays real good! I dug the fact that Helix went a little deep into the catalogue(Six Strings Nine Lives was played) given the fact that they had an hour to do so. Walking The Razors Edge was well represented with 6 songs being played! Holy crap was drummer Fritz Hinz singing backing vocals during Gimmie Good Lovin? Helix showed up and delivered a serious rock show in the heat!

Helix Guitar Dude Kaleb Duck and Drummer Fritz Hinz
Helix Guitar Dude Kaleb Duck and Drummer Fritz Hinz

 

54-40…..

These guys have been around and were real big during  the mid nineties and like Helix they take their craft serious. Leader Neil Osbourne has a good knack for writing good catchy rock numbers. Case in point opening with a one two punch of  Nice To Love You and  Lies To Me. 54-40 as they keep playing you realize just how much of a deep catalogue they have in regards to music and how it resonates with many. Case in point Uncle Randy said 54-40 were his University  band many moons ago and it was a great seeing them live! One Gun,Baby Ran,I Go Blind, and my personal fav Radio Luv Song the hits were all here! Another great act….First time seeing  them live!

Rockin Roberts/BMellis and Deke's rocking out to 54-40
Rockin Roberts/BMellis and Deke’s rocking out to 54-40

TREWS……

Another act I  had never seen but have heard things about! Trews brought it and delivered a well oiled professional set. They did not fool around as they rocked from start to finish and what a great sound along with songs to go with their  show. Paranoid Freak is a monster track and give it up for lead singer Colin MacDonald who has a real good rock voice!

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Trews N Roll!
Trews N Roll!

Tom Keifer….

Or CinderFella as I call him since he’s solo came out with no fanfare and ripped right into Once Around The Ride ( From Cinderella’s Night Songs debut) and I was hooked! How can you not be as he still has the voice and the dude seems to be in good shape. Keifer wrote all the Cinderella stuff so it’s basically his deal anyways and man he did not disappoint. 3rd song in and it’s Heartbreak Station which is a real good track even on the ballad side of things…Course you know you have a deep catalogue of hits when Shake Me is played early on.

Shake It Don't Break It...
Shake It Don’t Break It…

Keifer man is Old School as in the guitars he uses and he whipped up a cool batch of slide playing on Night Songs. Tom even did justice to The Stones It’s Only Rock N Roll/ Prince’s Purple Rain as an end of the set jam and took it home and finished off his set with Gypsy Road.

The Cult….

Wowzer’s the build up to this was huge! Wolfchild and Duffy in our backyard of Tbay Ontario! Did someone say Yah Yuh?

ASTBURY IS ROCK N ROLL!
ASTBURY IS ROCK N ROLL!

The Cult showed up and Kicked ASS! Ian Astbury/Billy Duffy/John Tempsta along with Grant Fitzpatrick and Damon Fox took to the stage opening with Wild Flower and Astbury took charge with both stage presence and the Tambourine. Duffy meanwhile took charge with a succession of guitar riffs and basically schooled everyone on how to do it with class!

The Cult are a band moving and progressing forward as shown when the 2nd track of the night is Dark Energy from their current release Hidden City. Kudos to these guys for  not just  playing a KISS like same set list tour after tour as 5 songs from the current album were featured with Hinterland being my fav…Destroy The Destroyer sang Wolfchild and I hollered like a lunatic! Case in point see the pic below with my pal Brother Bryce as we were just feet from the stage!

COMBAT ROCK 101
COMBAT ROCK 101

Phoenix from the Love album was a set highlight as Tempsta pounded the shit out of his drums while Duffy played like there was no tomorrow.

Pacing of the show was good and it was great to see the addition of a live keyboardist/guitarist to the fold as it enhanced the sound in song’s like  Sweet Soul Sister and the newer tracks as well.

Astbury was chatty and in a good mood seemed  appreciative  of the crowd and what were those three lights way up in the sky? Astbury must have thought ” Where the F&^k Am I?”

The Cult ended the night with G.O.A.T and Love Removal Machine.

The Cult apologized for showing up late and said the issues weren’t there deal but thanked everyone for sticking around! The Cult could have not taken the stage till 2 am and I would have stuck around!

THE CULT IS FUCKIN’ ROCK N ROLL………

Cinderella/Still Climbing

Cinderella even knows the deal in 1994 as it's the first album of theres not to feature any pics of them! Let The Music Do The Talking!
Cinderella even knows the deal in 1994 as it’s the first album of theres not to feature any pics of them! Let The Music Do The Talking!

The early nineties weren’t kind to Tommy Keifer and crew! 1990s Heartbreak Station didn’t sell as much as the debut (Night Songs) and followup(Long Cold Winter) as well there tour supporting Heartbreak Station had a few issues as well.

Myself,Oinks and Andre had tickets too catch the Cinderella/David Lee Roth co headline tour with Extreme opening in  Alpine Valley in Wisconsin in July of 1991 when the whole tour was scrapped due to lack of tickets being sold! SAY WHAAAAAAA…….

Just like that Cinderalla fell from the musical map. You can’t even blame Cobain/Seattle/ Grunge whatever the music shift change was as Heartbreak Station burned to the ground before that Nevermind business stuff happened.

I read that Tom Keifer was having some serious vocal problems and that the Docs shut him down! Just like that Cinderella was kaput until…

1994 Cinderella put out the insanely excellent Still Climbing record and no one gave a fuck except for the hardcore bunch of fans or would that be handful of fans left! I have no problem saying I was and still am a fan!

Cinderella on all 4 of there studio albums did not duplicate there sound from album to album….

Night Songs..I reviewed it here…https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/sonic-waves-cinderellanight-songs/

Long Cold Winter- they tell there drummer Fred Coury to stay home and The late great Cozy Powell slams the skins on the album which has a bigger more shift in hard blues rock sound and of course some biggie tunes that you know like Gypsy Road and that ballad tune…..ha!

Heartbreak Station-was a fantastic record. The title track is a epic piece of music and shit man it’s a ballad but Keifer spins it so it’s not a I Saw Red debacle that Warrant issued but of course Warrant had more success with there single…silly public! Heartbreak Station has tons of slide guitar,horns, cool percussion and Fred does all the drums!

Which now brings us to …

Still Climbing…Which just drops out of nowhere in November of 94 and I think I may have seen like two adds for Still Climbing one I think in M.E.A.T Magazine and the other in my brothers Guitar World Magazine ..that’s it ..no Vids (I know of and even you tube I’m looking for anything posted so it might just be story time today Folks!)

Tom Keifer,Jeff Labar,Eric Brittingham and hired drum guy Kenny Aranoff(John Cougar) put out what I consider the best ever unknown hard rock record that if your hunting around in shops and come across Still Climbing pick up the damn thing……

BAD ATTITUDE SHUFFLE-scruffy old school phonogram scratchy needle scuzzing across vinyl starts this song off and before it there’s Tommy  and his voice and man it still sounds like Tommy! Bad Attitude Shuffle just flat out rocks after that. Double bass smoking drums and a real hard rock polished produced record(not overdone) just gets your attention from the get go! Labar and Keifers guitar playing are top notch and they never got the credit they deserved as they could play! Bad Attitude Shuffle goes off the rails or should i say Tom does as he hails a bunch of F bombs at the end of the song! Street cred 101 and you will get your ass kicked if you mess with Toms scarf collection!

ALL COMES DOWN-kinda of a Aerosmithy bluesy late 80s vibe complete with horns and this is driving rock! Actually these songs would have fit and in some cases would have improved Aeros Get A Grip album! Yeah kids I said that! Tommy sez  ‘ when the shit hits the fan Ya gotta stick to the fight!” Agreed! Great solo from the Cinderdudes!

TALK IS CHEAP-the crash  of All Comes Down ends with guitar buzzing and Ken on drums and Eric on bass hold,down the bottom end! Another great rock track with a added dose of Aero included in the prechorus! This song crunches hard blues rock with some real nice percussive flair and that’s the thing with Keifer he did it all in this band wrote all the tunes man those other cats were lucky man or they claim to fame would have been “would you like fries with that?!” More great solos! Shit man this album cooks full steam ahead Captian Keifer!

HARD TO FIND THE WORDS- almost a slow Stones kinda of blues ballad with almost a bit of a country rock flair! Tommy sings in a straight ahead rock voice and when the chorus fires up he goes into his patented Kiefer screech! Think the song Heartbreak Station! Lots of slide guitar and the drums keep the song moving! Basically think a mash up of the Stones and Skynryd for this one!

BLOOD FROM A STONE- nice trippy Hammond b3 start and some serious wah pedal kick Blood From A Stone and its a  straight ahead rock track!

STILL CLIMBING- Kenny does some cool snare drum rolls and Keifer and Crew join the fray for the title track! It’s a slow builder of a track and shifts gears the Hammond B3 is a perfect mix with the slide guitar action going on.

FREEWHEELIN- Cinderella does some speed and this is a throwback to the debut! Straight ahead 4 on the floor rock stomper! Nuthin gets in  Tommys way! Double bass drums,loud guitars cymbals crashing yeah CinderRock is fine in 1994! Too bad many didn’t take notice!

THROUGH THE RAIN-think Don’t Know What You Got Til It’s Gone and you have Through The Rain. Piano drives this song. I always respected Keifers deal at writing ballads. Perhaps as he did it out of the gate on Night Songs with Nobody’s Fool and he has a knack for doing it. Sure he’s playing the game but in doing so he didn’t make it so obvious! Thanks Thomas!

EASY COME EASY GO- Tyler and Pery would have killed to have had written this track themselves! I will declare right here folks this is one of my all time fav Cinderella tracks! It’s Big !Bombastic! It Cranks! It Has Class! Ha ok,ok! Seriously though this is a absolute end of the album Gem! It sneaks sleaze and cool all over the place! Big power riffs and a hook so catchy it just grabs you and makes Ya scream for more! Ha! This is a Arena Rock Junkie delight! The song in the verses sounds like a page right out of Aeroville! The chorus when Kiefer belts “Easy Commmmes……Easy Goooooooooes!  The music underneath his voice is the Shit! Snap happy piano honkytonk mixed with hard rock guitars drums and cowbell! I’m tripping on a musical Ecstasy here folks….God this is gonna get ugly!

THE ROADS STILL LONG-think Coming Home from Long Cold Winter. It’s a mid tempo kinda tune! Not bad really and give these guys credit they stuck to there formula even in GrungeMania! That’s saying something!

HOT AND BOTHERED- hey man before Fred Coury bolted he stuck around and recorded this tune which was on the Wayne Worlds soundtrack! Hot And Bothered is a  straight ahead rocker! Listen to the video!

IN CONCLUSION-Cinderella stepped up huge when the chips were down and delivered a straight ahead rock record at a time when no one gave a Crap about 80s rock! Even Nikki Sixx changed the course of The Crue and we all know what happened there! (Motley Corabi great album,no one cared must have been the year 1994!) Scoff all you like but Tommy got his voice back ramped up his songwriting, gave the other guys in Cinderella (Lebar and Brittingham) some employment and by golly I will say this may just be my fav output of  theres……