A.J. Croce, the son of James Adrian Croce, was just two years old when a fatal crash occurred. The younger Croce grew up to become a successful singer-songwriter himself, following in his father’s footsteps.
The Nashville stylist, known for his soulful legacy, remains connected to a part of his past while showcasing his talent alongside influential musicians like Willie Nelson, Leon Russell, and Steve Cropper. He has released nine albums, demonstrating his vocal and piano-based prowess.
On Thursday evening, Croce, who is 47 years old, will showcase a variety of his original compositions during his visit to the Kum & Go Theater located at the Des Moines Social Club (901 Cherry Street).
During a recent telephone interview, Croce clarified, “It will mark three decades of my music.” “It will be a performance by a pair,” he added. “I will be collaborating with David Barard, a bassist from New Orleans. He had been associated with Dr. John for three decades. We harmonize together and the show is truly lively. I will be showcasing my skills on the piano and guitar, while he will handle the bass.”
A.J. Definitely acquired his father’s musical traits.
Croce stated, “I was raised on his albums more so than on him.” “However, I solely listened to music from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, not necessarily because I adored his music. I became deeply fascinated with slide piano, jazz, blues, and similar genres.”
The younger Croce has continued his father’s storytelling legacy on his latest album “Just Like Medicine,” which was released on August 11, 2017 via Compass Records. Jim Croce had a talent for transforming ordinary individuals into heroes.
“The Box Tops’ album, The Letter, spans several musical genres, including jazz, modern soul, blues, and rock. It features several soul hits, including “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” by Aretha Franklin and “The Dark End of the Street” by Alabama. These songs were co-written by Dan Penn, an engineer and staff writer for Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where the album was produced.”
The song “The Song” was previously unreleased, written by Croce’s father, which turned out to be the last song he wrote before he died.
The second track of the album “Just That Makes Me Whole” was co-written by the late great Jim Croce and Leon Russell, and it was a record that A.J. Never got to hear before he died.
Among the numerous guest musicians showcased on the album is the renowned blues guitarist Steve Cropper, famous for his collaboration with Booker T. & The M.G.’S.
Croce stated, “We go back until approximately when I was 17, and we have remained in contact.” “And I simply phoned them and inquired if he was available to participate in this endeavor. It was a melody I composed alongside Leon Russell, with whom I have composed numerous melodies, and I had anticipated that we would have the opportunity to record it together. However, regrettably, he passed away before we could. It was enjoyable. I felt as though it was perhaps my sole opportunity to collaborate with him. I infused a part of myself into it and endeavored to honor him. As a result, it was a positive experience.”
Croce has been working on a few new ventures that will soon be revealed.