The Croce Plays Croce 50th Anniversary show features a legendary band (including drummer Gary Mallaber, bassist David Barard, guitar/violin James Pennebaker) and a moving multi-media presentation accompanying Jim’s songs (which on the previous tour included memorable hits, “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)”, “Time in a Bottle,” and others). It was fan-demand for more, and the camaraderie that A.J. felt with the audience, the players, and the connection to his father’s timeless music that inspired A.J. to embark on the 50th Anniversary tour for 2023. “The audience reaction has been so great,” says A.J. “The shows we did last year were not only met with a huge response, but I learned so much about what works and what resonates, we knew we had to keep going.”
The gifted multi-instrumentalist says besides the two albums Life and Times and I Got A Name, tracks from the popular You Don’t Mess Around With Jim – which fueled last year’s run – will also be part of the new show. “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.”
BMG has 50th anniversary editions of Life and Times and I Got A Name planned for release in the summer. These will be limited color vinyl pressings of each album to celebrate this momentous anniversary and a special box set, among other promotions.
During last year’s raved-about performances, A.J. shared intimate aspects of his dad’s career. He also drew praise for his own style and musicianship (he’s known for one of the most unique keyboard styles in music) as well as his sensitive insight into Jim Croce’s enduring musical canon. While Jim Croce’s indelible music catalog still resonates on classic radio, streaming platforms, and more recently on hit films and TV shows like Django Unchained and Stranger Things, it is A.J.s unique showmanship that has helped enliven Jim’s amazing legacy. One reviewer aptly noted: ‘…A.J. Croce invites the sold-out crowds into his father’s worldview and work mindset, culminating in the playing of Jim Croce tunes…making for an intimate experience riddled with wryness and humor…’