Can I just say that AJ Croce is one of the coolest musicians around? I had the honor and pleasure to speak with AJ ahead of his upcoming Hudson Valley performance talking about love, loss, and his father, Jim Croce's legacy. I've been a fan of his father's music for years, and the two of them have been major inspirations for me, as a musician myself. This interview was very special for me, and I am incredibly grateful for AJ's time.

AJ Croce, Son of Jim Croce, to Perform in Peekskill, New York

Billboard charting singer/songwriter A.J. Croce will be performing at the Paramount Hudson Valley Theater on Thursday, May 2nd on his special “Croce Plays Croce 50th Anniversary Tour” in honor of the memory of his late, legendary father, hitmaker singer-songwriter, Jim Croce ("Bad, Bad Leroy Brown""Time In A Bottle""Operator""You Don't Mess Around With Jim", and many more).
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The performance will celebrate Jim Croce’s legendary work, coinciding with the recent BMG release of the 3 CD or 3 LP compilation project, “THE DEFINITIVE CROCE,” which includes Jim’s iconic albums “LIFE AND TIMES,” “I GOT A NAME” and “YOU DON’T MESS AROUND." Tickets for the “Croce Plays Croce 50th Anniversary Tour” are available now and can be purchased at www.ajcrocemusic.com.
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On the “Croce Plays Croce 50th Anniversary Tour,” the gifted multi-instrumentalist will be backed by legendary band members Gary Mallaber (Van Morrison/Steve Miller Band), bassist/singer David Barard (Dr. John), and guitarist/violinist James Pennebaker (Delbert McClinton); and will be accompanied by background singers Jackie Wilson and Katrice Donaldson. The show will include a moving, multi-media experience in which A.J. will perform his own songs, in addition to tracks from Jim’s mega-successful albums included in THE DEFINITIVE CROCEwhich is being released this year for what would have been Jim’s 80th birthday before his untimely passing.
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Says A.J.,
“We’ll be playing songs representative from all three albums, and also some songs the audience might not know from more obscure artists that I realized connected me and my father. It was those songs that eventually led me to do this show in the first place.”  He adds, “People often come in thinking the show will be a quiet, nostalgic, precious display of my father’s songs – but it’s not precious at all. We give them an energetic, live show. The audience expects one thing, but by the time they leave, they realize they’ve experienced something completely different -- and they leave not only with a new perspective on Jim, but as fans of mine as well. That’s something that has also made this whole experience really amazing.”
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Over the past three decades, A.J. Croce has established his reputation as a piano player and vocal stylist who pulls from a host of musical traditions and anti-heroes — part New Orleans, part juke joint, part soul. From his 10 studio albums, it’s clear that he holds an abiding love for all types of musical genres: blues, soul, pop, jazz, and rock n’ roll. A virtuosic piano player, A.J toured with B.B. King and Ray Charles before reaching the age of 21, and over his career, he has performed with a wide range of legendary musicians, from Willie Nelson to the Neville Brothers, to Béla Fleck and Ry Cooder. A.J. has also co-written songs with such formidable tunesmiths as Leon Russell, Dan Penn, Robert Earl Keen, and multi-Grammy winner Gary Nicholson.
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His albums have all charted on an impressive array of charts: Top 40, blues, Americana, jazz, college and Radio 1. The Nashville-based singer/songwriter has landed 22 singles on a variety of Top 20 charts. His songwriting and style has evolved from jazz & blues on his debut and sophomore albums, to the roots-rock of the more recent collaborative recordings like “Cantos” with Ben Harper, “Twelve Tales” with Allen Toussaint, and “Just Like Medicine” with Vince Gill.
AJ Croce
AJ Croce
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ABOUT “THE DEFINITIVE CROCE”:

BMG celebrates what would have been Jim Croce’s 80th birthday and marks 50 years since his untimely passing with “The Definitive Croce,” a collection of his unparalleled run of studio albums released in 1972 and 1973 — available as a limited 3LP (180-gram black vinyl) or 3CD set. Disc 1 is the 1972 studio album “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim” which reached #1 and RIAA certified Gold®, featuring the #1 hit single “Time In A Bottle,” plus the hits “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” and “Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels).”  Disc 2 is the 1973 studio album “Life and Times,” which reached the Top 10, RIAA certified Gold®, and features the RIAA certified Gold® #1 single “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” plus the hit “One Less Set Of Footsteps.” Disc 3 is the final Jim Croce studio album “I Got A Name,” released in 1973, which reached #2, is RIAA certified Gold®, and features the Top 10 Hits “I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song,” and “I Got A Name” plus the Top 40 Hit “Workin’ At The Car Wash Blues.” Jim’s music continues to be incorporated into pop culture even today with unique film and television placements in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” “Stranger Things,” an Apple Siri commercial, “Fast and Furious;” and “Time in a Bottle,” in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

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