Monday, June 24, 2013

Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers with George Thorogood | September 1988

Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers were joined onstage by George Thorogood for a monster rock n' roll jam at the Paradise in Boston, Sept. 1988. The songs included "Johnny B. Goode," "Who Do You Love," and "No Particular Place to Go." 

A review by the Boston Globe the next day:

September 24, 1988
Boston Globe

Explosive Night at the Paradise

Steve Morse, Globe Staff

Explosiveness was already in the air. Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers -- a hungry-hearted new band from Philadelphia -- had been tearing up the Paradise for an hour. Conwell had been racing through the crowd and dancing on the bar, playing guitar solos that ricocheted off walls and through brains. So what could possibly take the crowd higher?  Bopping out of the wings came George Thorogood, the dean of wild man rockers, strapping on a guitar and launching a blistering jam. He and Conwell stood side by side, swapping licks and smiles while the audience was in a state of blissful shock.

Thorogood, in town on business, made merry with his patented "hootenanny rock" and soon had the room in an uproar. They steamrolled through Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," cruise- controlled through Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love," then turned on the juice again on Berry's "No Particular Place to Go."

Remarkably, Conwell was not in awe of the situation -- and if you were judging, you'd have to term the jam a draw. It was a dramatic way for Conwell -- the pride and joy of Philly's roots rock scene -- to make his Boston debut. Thorogood, ever the jester, held his hand up and called him "the new champ." He then kidded slyly, "If I looked as good as him and could play as good, I'd have a future in this business!"

Conwell has a future, all right. His new album, "Rumble" (on) Columbia, has a few simplistic rock anthems, but comes alive in its striking ability to merge blues and rock with a near-gospel fire. He's also a rock scholar, for one can hear hints of Janis Joplin, Steppenwolf, John Fogerty and the Fabulous Thunderbirds weaving through the sound. The other Rumblers are no slouches, either, especially the first-rate rhythm section of Paul Slivka and Jim Hannum, who played a bizarre drum kit with the cymbals reversed from their usual order.

Last night the band also planned to perform a live WBCN broadcast from Newbury Sound studio, so hopefully more listeners could get a taste of the energy they brought to the Paradise. 

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