MISSOULA – Acclaimed singer/songwriter A.J. Croce will perform his own songs as well as those of his father, the legendary Jim Croce, as he explores “Two Generations of American Music” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, at the University of Montana’s Dennison Theatre.
Tickets are on sale now and cost $25 plus applicable fees. They are available online at http://www.griztix.com, by calling 406-243-4051 or 888-666-8262 during regular business hours, or at GrizTix outlets, including the Adams Center Box Office, Worden’s Market, Southgate Mall and MSO Hub.
Croce was only 2 years old when his father died in a tragic airplane crash in 1973, so he didn’t know his music firsthand.
“I came to love it in the same way everyone else did – listening to the albums,” he said. While he describes his father’s music as “part of me, part of my life,” until now, Croce had never really performed those songs live. As a piano player, his interests tended to favor the blues and jazz-rooted music of musicians like Ray Charles and Allen Toussaint.
As he started to learn his father’s tunes, Croce had to do it “the old-fashioned way, by listening to the recordings” because there were no chord books of Jim Croce music. A.J., who was developing his own guitar playing prowess, was particularly impressed with the complexities of his father’s compositions, especially in interplay between Jim Croce and his longtime collaborator, lead guitarist Maury Muehleisen, who also died in the plane crash.
A.J. Croce has kept himself busy this year with more than just the “Two Generations” concerts; he released his new soul-inspired album, “Just Like Medicine,” on Aug. 11. Croce collaborated with legendary producer/songsmith Dan Penn on the release, which features contributions from the great Muscle Shoals bassist David Hood, blues guitar master Colin Linden and the renowned gospel singers the McCrary Sisters. The project marks the follow up to Croce’s last album, the critically acclaimed “Twelve Tales,” which was released on Nashville-based Compass Records.
For these special “Two Generations” performances, Croce will be backed by his longtime guitarist Michael Bizar, along with David Barard on bass, and either Nashville-based session ace Tony Morra or Gary Mallaber on drums. With these concerts, Croce wants to create an experience that “makes the audience and me happy.”
Doors for the 8 p.m. concert will open at 7 p.m. For more information call UM Productions marketing coordinator Will Johnson at 541-633-0720 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.