A.J. Croce is presenting a never-before-done night of two generations of Croce music, including hits by his late father Jim Croce and songs from his own repertoire, as well as music that influenced them both.
The performance is Saturday, January 14th, Franklin Theatre as Tennessee will get it’s very first taste of this special show.
A.J., began his career at age 18 opening for B.B. King and has since spanned genres from jazz to Americana to blues to pop. He was blinded as a result of abuse from his mother’s boyfriend at age four, regaining partial vision at age ten. During that time he taught himself piano while listening to other great blind artists like Ray Charles.
A.J. has written with artists including Robert Earl Keen, Gary Nicholson, Roger Brown and Will Jennings, and headlined festivals and shared the stage with artists including Ray Charles, Lyle Lovett, James Brown and Rod Stewart. Croce’s eight studio albums have charted on seven U.S. radio charts including Top 40, College, Americana, and Blues and charted 17 singles in the Top 20. Additionally, A.J. has performed on Leno, Letterman, Conan and Austin City Limits
Twelve Tales was A.J’s eighth studio album and considered by him to be his most ambitious recording project to date. He recorded with six legendary producers in their studios with their musicians in five U.S. cities over the course of the year, while releasing one song per month exclusively on iTunes.
One song was written with the late legendary musician/songwriter Leon Russell. In some cases he was recording Thursday and Friday, mixing on Saturday, mastering on Monday, and having it for sale on Tuesday. His legendary producers were the late “Cowboy” Jack Clement (Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash) in Nashville, the late Allen Toussaint (Lee Dorsey, Eric Clapton) in New Orleans, Mitchell Froom (Randy Newman, Crowded House) and Tony Berg (Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann) in Los Angeles, Kevin Killen (Elvis Costello, Peter Gabriel) in Connecticut, and Greg Cohen (Tom Waits, John Zorn) in New York City. The album spent six months on the roots-rock radio chart.
Throughout A.J.’s career he has made a point of establishing his own musical footprint and not utilizing the legendary and famous connection of his father to leap further. But two things led to his performance of his fathers material. First, a decade after his own professional career began he learned to play guitar and began to incorporate it into his live show. Second, he had been recording and touring professionally for 20 years and felt comfortable now paying homage to his father’s great legacy in concert. In later years, he was surprised to learn that both he and his father enjoyed listening to the same records and artists, even though they grew up at different times and played different instruments. After an overwhelmingly wonderful and emotional response to performing a song or two live of his father’s at concerts in recent years, the “Croce: Two Generations of American Music” concert was born.
The show starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14. Purchase your tickets online at the Franklin Theatre website.