Sunday, July 27, 2008

100 Best Philly Albums of All Time - Rumble

A list of the 100 Best Philly Albums of All Time, according to this Philadelphia Weekly 2004 article, includes Rumble by Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers at No. 100. Good catch! The description of the song "I'm Not Your Man" is a bit incorrect [he doesn't want to be introduced to the parents, right?], but nice that the authors also included the band Flight of Mavis (Buzz Zeemer association via Frank Brown) in their Honorable Mentions list.

100. Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers
Rumble | Columbia, 1988

It's true: He and the Young Rumblers were the king of all bar bands, and that would hurt any rocker's credibility. But Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers were truly beloved in the '80s, mostly because this University of Delaware grad had a strong sense of what worked for the live crowd. That charisma is partly what attracted the attention of Columbia Records for this major label debut, which featured the hit "I'm Not Your Man," about a regular Joe who realizes he'll never be the kind of guy who gets introduced to the parents. The band never went far nationally, but Conwell remains a strong supporter of the Philly music scene as the host of Loud and Local on WYSP.

Philadelphia Weekly, Sept. 22, 2004.
These picks were written by: Jeffrey Barg, Patrick Berkery, Ainé Ardron-Doley, Julie Gerstein, Collin Keefe, Johnny Loftus, Ken Micallef, Ramsay Pennypacker, Liz Spikol, Michael Tearson, Suzann Vogel, Steve Volk and Tim Whitaker.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Bottom Line Cabaret ticket stub, 1988

Ticket stub from a Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers concert at The Bottom Line in NYC on Oct. 4, 1988. 

The appearance of the Young Rumblers occurred over two nights, Oct. 3 and 4.

Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers
Opening Act | William Shaw
All Seats $12.50

*October 4 concert was broadcast live on WNEW-FM.

Image courtesy of

Monday, July 14, 2008

Conwell Rumbles Into the Met | Chicago Sun-Times article

Conwell poses with fans, circa 1989

A December 1990 Chicago Sun-Times article featuring Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers.

Conwell rumbles into the Met
December 7, 1990
By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times

When I first saw Tommy Conwell's teen-idol face, I thought here was a guy who could win over the Tommy Page crowd with no problem.
When I first heard him sing, I was shocked by what came out of that mouth.

Make no mistake about it. Conwell is nobody's pretty boy. He is a serious musician who happens to have a youthful, not-so-serious outlook on life.

Conwell and his band, the Young Rumblers, will perform bluesy pop from their latest album, "Guitar Trouble," at 11:30 tonight at the Cabaret Metro, 3730 N. Clark. Tickets, $6, are available at Ticketmaster outlets (559-1212).

The Philly-based guitarist, now 28, maintains a rebellious streak that most adults outgrow. His enthusiasm both in conversation and in his work is remniscent of a teen. In fact, his latest single, "I'm Seventeen," chronicles a teenager's angst with such unabashed clarity that I am tempted to believe the lyrics were yanked from a high school student's diary.

Probably not his own journal, though. Conwell's own adolescence didn't include much rock 'n' roll. He says he despised the popular music of the '70s and opted for George Benson and Charlie Parker over Styx and Supertramp. He even dreamed about becoming a jazz musician . . . until the Sex Pistols thumbed their pierced noses at the rock establishment and Conwell discovered punk rock.

"Punk rock was really great because it was (in-your-face) music, and for a 17-year-old, there's nothing better than that," Conwell said. "It's also a good type of music for a kid who is just getting into playing in bands, because you can be a lousy musician and still make great music."

Conwell's earnest music, particularly his guitar playing, saves him from being just another magazine-cover pop star. On record, his music sounds more sanitized than it does live, where his vocals take a backseat to his frantic playing.

For a would-be rock star, Conwell holds some pretty career-masochistic views. He actually wants the Metro filled with people who have no idea who he is. His reasoning for this? If fans are there, they'll enjoy whatever he does. Winning over people who don't know the difference between him and Tommy Shaw, now that would be a challenge he'd like to meet....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

TCYR Ticket Stub | 1988

1988 ticket stub. Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers performed at The Stone Balloon, Nov. 26.

Tommy Conwell performs tonight at 8 p.m. for the Florence Township Patriotic Celebration Day in New Jersey -- right before fireworks!