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Enjoyable melodies from a minstrel
   
Roger Hodgson gets by with a little help from Mark Rivera

by Timothy Tilghman

Roger Hodgson stripped himself down on stage. Utilizing only his voice and musical abilities on both keyboards and acoustic guitar, Hodgson delivered a highly entertaining performance in the Superstar Theatre at the historic Resorts Atlantic City Hotel on Saturday, June 7, 2008.

Hodgson had support on stage from the multi-talented musician Mark Rivera. The two men had previously toured together as members in Ringo Starr's seventh All Starr Band in 2001. Rivera played Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, tambourine and percussion. He occasionally sang harmony vocals and a few lead lyrics.

Hodgson was warmly greeted by an eager audience and immediately set the crowd at ease before taking a seat at the organ for "Take The Long Way Home". "Well, well, well, welcome to Atlantic City. I bet none of you live here ...", was a humorous observation voiced by Hodgson. "Give A Little Bit" on acoustic guitar was brilliant in its simplicity.

Alternating between his Supertramp songs and solo pieces, Hodgson displayed his amazing talent for writing superior melodies. His singing voice was in fine form and the audience applause level indicated the concert was outstanding. The sparse stage mood lighting provided as visual background complimented the aural tones of musical expression.

Written during enrollment at boarding school, Rivera's accented vocal on the humorous "Breakfast In America" was a shade off. Hodgson made fun of his flub and prompted Rivera to, "Give us some Brooklyn". At the piano, Hodgson mentioned the gorgeous "Lord Is It Mine" as being one of his most favorite songs. Rivera's fluttering Sax added subtle accompaniment.

The motivating chords of "Dreamer" featured soaring vocals from Hodgson and interjected brevity from Rivera. The pop-flavored "It's Raining Again" closed the evening. Returning for the encore on acoustic guitar, Hodgson sang the beautiful ballad "two Of Us". Asking the crowd to sing together, Hodgson reprised another rendition of "Give A Little Bit" with the audience clapping and singing along in unison with the house lights up.

During the `70's and `80's as a member of the popular progressive rockgroup Supertramp, Roger recorded a succession of monster AOR radio hits that were published as Davies & Hodgson compositions. In his lengthy association with Rick Davies, the two wrote and sang material separately although the music was released in collaboration as a duo.

With Hodgson having walked away from Supertramp in pursuit of establishing a solo career in 1984, Davies has continued to record and release new albums under the brandname of Supertramp. Hodgson appears content and pleased to play his material before appreciative fans.

Atlantic City setlist: Take The Long Way Home * Give A Little Bit * Lovers Is In The Wind * Hide In Your Shell * Oh Brother * Easy Does It * Sister Moonshine * London * Along Came Mary * The Logical Song * The More I Look * Breakfast In America * Lord Is It Mine * Don't Leave Me Now * Dreamer * It's Raining Again * Encore: Two Of Us * Give A Little Bit

Photos courtesy of www.YoungsStudio.com

RockonTour   Issue #81
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