Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
8:21 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

A. J. Croce: Telling Tales

A.J. Croce.
A.J. Croce.
Credit Shelby Duncan

It’s easy to tease out the artists who’ve inspired A.J. Croce’s singing over the years — Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, Buddy Holly, even Ray Davies of The Kinks. He loves early rock n roll and R&B. So perhaps it’s ironic that A.J. rarely sounds like his father, singer-songwriter Jim Croce, who made his mark on music in the late 1960s and early 70s.

With nine albums to his credit and more than 20 years as a touring musician, A.J. Croce is his own man, performing his own music. And a devoted fan base has shown its appreciation for the genre-busting of the younger Croce.

He is at home in front of a piano. He wields the songwriting pen with expertise. And he plays a mean guitar, too.

On Croce’s most recent album, he collaborates with six of the industry’s most famous producers. Twelve Tales took a year to finish — spending a little time with each producer in ten different recording studios across the country, each producer taking a pair of songs under his care. Croce describes the project as “a musical jigsaw puzzle without a box.”

Now that the last song has been released, we can all see the bigger picture.

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