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Playing Supertramp hits is only logical for Roger Hodgson

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Though he's proud of his solo work -- including a large batch of new material he's been writing -- Roger Hodgson knows that people come to see him primarily to hear Supertramp songs.

And these days he's confident he's offering the best representation of them that anyone would want.

"They've never sounded as good as this," says Hodgson, 64, who co-founded Supertramp during 1969 with Rick Davies and sang the hits "Dreamer," "Give a Little Bit," "The Logical Song," "Breakfast in America" and "Take the Long Way" home before leaving the group 1983. "Supertramp was a great band but never had the vocal harmonies that my band has and, really the musicianship. They do justice to the Supertramp songs -- and more."

And, truth be told, Hodgson is the only Supertramp show in town these days, at least on a consistent basis. Davies still leads a version of the band that tours, but rarely, which has left Hodgson as the point man for the Supertramp legacy.

"I think I was so much a part of the heart and soul of Supertramp, and a lot of people tell me how, boy, they feel the spirit of Supertramp in the shows," acknowledges Hodgson, who says there's no chance of he and Davies reuniting at any point. "I'm not demeaning Rick at all; obviously Supertramp was a combination of the two of our styles. It just so happens that my songs for whatever reason seem to have stood the test of time a bit better and have been more of the hits.

"So for the general public who don't know the history of Supertramp so much and are seeing it maybe fore the first time, they're feeling the spirit and hearing the music that they relate to as Supertramp."

The world is getting a little more Supertramp music via a 40th anniversary deluxe edition of the breakthrough "Crime of the Century" album. Hodgson, meanwhile, is sitting on an estimated 50-70 new songs of his own, some of which he's playing live and many of which he hopes to release in some way, shape or form -- though likely more online and via EPs than full-scale albums.

But the fresh material, he notes, will never supplant the Supertramp music he so proudly performs.

"I'm not going to make a new album and then say, 'OK, I'm not going to play 'Dreamer' tonight, or 'The Logical Song.' You've got to listen to my new stuff.' I'm not that kind of entertainer," Hodgson says. "I really want to give people the best experience they can have, and I realize there's an incredible affection and connection with the songs I wrote that I really honor.

"And to tell you the truth, I'm really feeling very fulfilled with what I'm doing now. I don't need to feel stadiums anymore. At the level I'm doing things I'm able to connect with people in a much more direct way and put on a much more high-quality shows now. So it's very rewarding."

Roger Hodgson

8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6

SoundBoard in the Motor City Casino, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit.

Tickets are $43-$53.

Call (313) 237-7711 or visit www.MotorCityCasino.com.

Web Site: www.motorcitycasino.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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