Monday, October 29, 2012

Rockett 88 - Got the Boogie Disease

Rockett 88 performs "Got the Boogie Disease" with Tommy Conwell playing his classic guitar at the University of Delaware's TV production studio in 1983. Video is courtesy of The music scene in the 1980's - Wilmington, Delaware Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I'm Not Your Man - Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers (1988)

The first song that Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers perform live on MTV's
Mouth to Mouth, 1988 - I'm Not Your Man. The band closes out to commercial [again -- too briefly!] with Workout!

[Updated version.]

Saturday, October 20, 2012

If We Never Meet Again - Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers (1988)

Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers - Live on MTV's Mouth to Mouth, 1988. Performing If We Never Meet Again. And then the band closes out to commercial [too briefly] with Walkin' on the Water!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tommy Conwell and the Little Kings - Belgium Blues Festival, 2002

The following is an excerpt from an article originally found on [Including audience concert reviews below.]

Original article in Dutch:

Is Tommy Conwell de witte Barrence Whitfield of is Barrence Whitfield de zwarte Tommy Conwell? U mag kiezen maar een ding is zeker; Tommy Conwell's bluesy rock and roll is als een lap rond de oren met een naschok tot in de tenen. de jongen had ocharme nog geen haar op z'n borst toen hij na een eerste schuchtere poging eind jaren tachtig op de proppen kwam met z'ni Young Rumblers en prompt twee door de rockende bluesliefhebbers gesmaakte platen mocht maken voor CBS. tevergeefs blijkbaar, want Tommy verdween meteen daarna terug uit het zicht, maar wat een wederopstanding toen hij ons in 1997 z'n Little Kings in de maag splitste middels Sho' Gone Crazy, een plaat nokvol furieus zweet uitdrijvende lappen R and B en rock! Pitch up the boogie and GO, GO, GO...CRAZEE! Wie bij Tommy's uitzinnige muziek stil kan blijven staan is rijp voor de bloempot.  


Is Tommy Conwell the white Barrence Whitfield -- or is Barrence Whitfield the black Tommy Conwell? You may choose, but only one thing is certain; Tommy Conwell's bluesy rock and roll hits your ears with an aftershock to the toes. The boy had youth and no hair on his chest with his first attempt in the late 1980s when he was with the Young Rumblers - and promptly made two of the most rocking recordings (Rumble, Guitar Trouble) ever made for blues-appreciating record lovers, with CBS Records. It was apparently in vain, because Tommy disappeared immediately afterwards, out of sight. But what a resurrection when, in 1997, he and his Little Kings, hit the guts with Sho' Gone Crazy, a recording for the followers of furious, sweaty and explosive rhythm and blues and rock! Pitch up the boogie and GO, GO, GO...crazy! Whoever can stand still with Tommy's frenzied music playing [might as well be dead].

Tommy Conwell and the Little Kings promotional insert featuring their appearance at the Belgium Rhythm 'N' Blues Festival, 2002.

*** Reviews ***
Blues Festival, Belgium
Saturday, July 20, 2002
"The show was very entertaining, Tommy Conwell and the Little Kings played between all the other blues-acts!!  First of all Tommy Conwell had no hair anymore, so he looks like Bruce Willis on stage.
The Little Kings began the set with an instrumental and after Tommy did his best to talk Dutch to the crowd!!!  SANTE!  SKOL!  and so on ... much different things.

The songs came out of his two last albums with the Little Kings, hard, loud, it reminds me a little bit of George Thorogood.  He also played songs of his albums with the Rumblers ... reminding me of the 80's:  "I'm Not Your Man", "Guitar Trouble."

(Tommy jokingly tells the crowd that he has a lot of copies left in his basement.  He also tells everyone to buy his CD's because he needs the money).The show was nice, sometimes wild, sometimes blues, rock 'n roll, slow, pop, ...
I was a little bit disappointed that I couldn't reach Tommy for an autograph ...After his show it began to rain very, very hard!!"
Luk Dufait


"Hello USA,
I met Tommy Conwell last weekend at the Belgium Rhythm 'n' Blues festival in Peer. We talked a lot about life, music ... He's a really nice guy.  His show was great. The people loved him. I'll hope to see him back in Belgium in the near future.  I just danced with my daughter on "Without Love" from the Hi Ho Silver album. My wife and I are going on holidays in a few hours and it was a farewell dance.   
It felt great!!!!

Thanks to Tommy for the fine time.  A new fan is born !!!!!!!"
Jan Van Streydonck

Belgium Rhythm n' Blues Festival acts [Day 2]:

1:00 pm Mfus (Great Britain) 
2:30 pm Jesse Dayton (USA) 
4:00 pm Harry Manx (CAN) 
5:30 pm The Instigators (Sweden) 
7:00 pm Tommy Conwell and The Little Kings (USA) 
9:00 pm Duke Robillard Band (USA) 
11:00 pm Willy DeVille (USA)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WMMR Radio - Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers, Live 1987

Audio of a WMMR radio spot featuring Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers opening for Bryan Adams at the Philadelphia Spectrum, recorded June 23, 1987. 

The clip includes interviews [at the end] with John Lilley and Rob Hyman of the Hooters, who discuss their tour with Bryan Adams, the Young Rumblers, and their new album - released in July 1987 - One Way Home

Also featuring WMMR DJs “Bubba" John Stevens and Pierre Robert. 

(Note: Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers screenshot images taken from their February 20, 1987 PRISM concert performance at the Spectrum.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Q & A with photographer Jonathan Saunders

The following is an excerpt from an article originally found on

          Ever wonder who gets the killer job of globe-trotting and “shooting” celebrities, models, and rock stars? NYC-based photographer Jonathan Saunder's first-rate portfolio includes a diverse cast of personalities including George Carlin, Dewey Redman, Don Imus, Bill Gates, Chubby Checker, Michael Bloomberg, and even Tommy Conwell. “The more I befriend someone as I photograph, the better. I want my subjects to remember the entire process as positively as they can,” states Saunders. Checkout Jonathan's blog, I Like To Tell Stories

Q: Tell me your story photographing Tommy Conwell.

A: I photographed Tommy for the Philadelphia Magazine music issue. I also shot Chubby Checker and Schoolly D for the same issue. The idea the magazine had was to photograph these Philadelphia music legends at one of their favorite spots around the city. Unbelievably, I cannot find my notes on which diner this is, but we shot Tommy at a diner of his choosing, we just kinda showed up and they let us shoot, lights and all, it was wonderful. We picked a booth, set up and started shooting while Tommy told me and my assistant about performing, being a radio host, and diner stories. It was a really good time and Tommy was cool to photograph. 

From the article:
          "Tommy used to work here (Ranch House in Delaware). Flipping burgers and scrambling eggs for the late-night crowd, he wrote songs like "Walkin' on the Water" in his spare time and daydreamed of what was to come. Like every young guitar slinger, Conwell dreamed of becoming a rock star, rich, respected, and cool. Not for a second did he imagine himself hanging out at the diner a dozen years later, a man who actually got everything he dreamed of and let it go...
          It's well past 3am and the eggs and scrapple are long gone. Tommy goes dutch on the bill and rises to leave. A man whose fifteen minutes are up but whose coolness is genuine.

 ~ Out and About Magazine, 1997