Celebrating three classic Jim Croce Albums, You Don’t Mess Around With Jim, Life and Time, and I Got a Name
MINNEAPOLIS (March 27, 2023) — Hennepin Theatre Trust has announced that multi-faceted singer/songwriter A.J. Croce is hitting the road again in Croce Plays Croce 50th Anniversary Tour with a stop in Minneapolis at the historic Pantages Theatre (710 Hennepin Ave.) on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023 at 8 p.m. in celebration of two more of his father Jim Croce’s legendary albums, 1973’s Life and Times and his final release, I Got A Name, in addition to songs from You Don’t Mess Around With Jim. The much-anticipated fall tour, Croce Plays Croce 50th Anniversary commences in mid-October with the first announced date being Springfield, MA on Oct. 27, and includes shows through November and December in historic venues like New York City’s Town Hall and Detroit’s Royal Oak Music Theatre.
Tickets go on sale Friday, March 31 at 10 a.m. to the general public at the State Theatre Box Office (805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis) and online at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.
|Friday||Nov. 17||8 p.m.||Pantages Theatre||$48.50, $78,50, $123.50|
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…’
A.J. says the upcoming Life and Times and I Got A Name shows will continue to be fresh and spontaneous. “People were surprised when they came that the show wasn’t just Jim Croce’s ballads,” he says. “I think one of the things the audience will appreciate if they haven’t seen us yet, is how alive these songs sound. All the musicians have a level of improvisation that makes it a lot of fun.”
The two Jim Croce albums that turn 50 in 2023 are considered among Croce’s finest, with Life and Times, originally released in January of 1973, delivering the game-changing hit “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” which became the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame inductee’s calling card, hitting #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and ranked as the #2 song for all of 1973. I Got A Name was his final studio album (and the first posthumous release by Jim), with the title song being released the day after his tragic plane crash which occurred on September 20, 1973. The album also featured the smash hit ballad “I’ll Have to Say I Love You In A Song,” and “Workin’ At The Car Wash Blues,” among others.
Ahead of the anniversary tour, fans have their calendars circled for a particularly special performance on September 21, when A.J. will perform at Los Angeles’ legendary Troubadour club, the classic West Hollywood venue where his father performed July 20-23, 1973, 50 years ago. “All the shows before we do that one will be fun, but the Troubadour will be a real labor of love,” says A.J. “Doug Weston, who I knew and was the original owner had a knack for booking artists about to break a year in advance, so they’d have to come back off a big tour and do this intimate, 500 seat place. I’m thrilled I’ll get the opportunity to play where my father did 50 years ago when he was just beginning to achieve stardom.”
Fans and critics who attended last year’s 50th Anniversary Celebration shows are thrilled that A.J. is readying another affectionate interpretation of his father’s enduring legacy. The shows have renewed interest in Jim Croce and garnered praise for A.J: “I think they come as a Jim Croce fan but also leave as fans of mine. That’s something that has also made this whole experience really amazing.”
Confirmed dates below with more being added in the coming weeks!
CROCE PLAYS CROCE 50TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
Oct 27 / Aria Ballroom @MGM Springfield / Springfield, MA
Oct 28 /The Wilbur / Boston, MA
Oct 30 / Count Basie Center for the Arts / Red Bank, NJ
Nov 1 / Santander Performing Arts Center / Reading, PA
Nov 2 / Sandler Center for the Performing Arts / Virginia Beach, VA
Nov 4 / The Town Hall / New York City, NY
Nov 5 / Keswick Theatre / Glenside, PA
Nov 7 / Kodak Center / Rochester, NY
Nov 8 / Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall / Munhall, PA
Nov 9 / Taft Theatre / Cincinnati, OH
Nov 12 / Royal Oak Music Theatre / Royal Oak, MI
Nov 15 / Hoyt Sherman Place / Des Moines, IA
Nov 17 / Pantages Theatre / Minneapolis, MN
Nov 25 / Florida Theatre / Jacksonville, FL
Nov 26 / Parker Playhouse / Fort Lauderdale, FL
Nov 28 / Capitol Theatre / Clearwater, FL
Nov 29 / King Center for the Performing Arts / Melbourne, FL
For a complete schedule of 2023 dates, visit https://www.ajcrocemusic.com
Hennepin Theatre Trust drives cultural and economic vitality in Minnesota through leadership of the dynamic Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis and educational programming that reaches every area of the state. Its historic theatres — Orpheum, State and Pantages — and event center at 900 Hennepin Avenue light up Hennepin Avenue with top-tier entertainment, including the best of Broadway and a wide variety of arts programming. Hennepin Theatre Trust is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.
This activity is made possible by voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.