OME presents Croce Plays Croce, performed by A.J. Croce, at the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Feb. 25.
A special night of music featuring a complete set of classics by his late father Jim Croce, some of his own tunes, and songs that influenced both him and his father.
An American folk singer
This special event features such timeless songs as “Operator,” “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim,” “Time in a Bottle,” (a song written for A.J.), “Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy),” and “Lovers Cross,” to name a few. Classic covers may include songs by Lieber and Stoller, Bessie Smith and other folk and roots artists.
Jim Croce was an American folk singer with a short-lived professional recording and touring career, and decades of posthumous fame as one of the greatest songwriters and artists ever. With sales surpassing 50 million records, including three #1 songs and ten Top 10 hits, Jim Croce’s short career and long-lived legacy are well-remembered through his era-defining standards like “Operator,” “Time in a Bottle” and “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.”
A career of his own
A.J. Croce’s 30-year touring and recording career has produced ten studio albums that have been released via both major and independent labels, and have charted 20 Top 20 singles and all ten albums on the radio including Top 40, Americana and Blues.
A virtuoso piano player, he’s toured with such artists as Willie Nelson, Lenny Kravitz, Earth, Wind and Fire and B.B. King. While his last album, “Just Like Medicine,” paired him with producer and soul legend Dan Penn and an all-star cast of players and guests like Vince Gill and Steve Cropper, his new album was born of memories of favorite artists and shows, but mostly, of late-night gatherings with groups of friends, many of them fellow musicians, with Croce at the piano taking requests.
Croce revisits these musical evenings on “By Request” (out on Compass Records) with 12 covers that traverse decades and genres, propelled by his spirited, piano mastery and emotive vocals.
With a rich catalog of original compositions A.J. first recorded and released a composition of his fathers with a never-before-recorded song “Name of the Game” on his Just Like Medicine release.
In 2018 he covered the 1973 hit “I Got A Name” for a Goodyear commercial with Dale Earnhardt Jr.