The Season Kicks Off with great Music!
AT 7:30 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 23, our season begins with a concert — and what a concert it will be!
Singer-songwriter A.J. Croce is a multi-instrumentalist roots-rock artist, known for his boogie-woogie piano playing reminiscent of Dr. John. AJ has recorded eight studio albums for both major and indie labels in 23 years as a professional artist and musician. His music incorporates pop, blues, folk, and jazz, and has charted on seven radio charts including Top 40.
From his debut as a jazz influenced blues-based artist to his evolution into a pop music iconoclast, singer-songwriter A.J. Croce has traveled a circuitous musical road. He has been seen and heard on shows including Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Austin City Limits, Good Morning America, E!, and CNN, and he has shared the stage with an innumerable list of eclectic artists from Willie Nelson to Ray Charles, Béla Fleck to James Brown, Lyle Lovett to Morphine, and Rod Stewart to Ben Harper.
A loyal and appreciative audience and glowing press from Rolling Stone to the New York Times confirms the appeal of A.J’s genre-spanning music, with six of his albums positioned in various radio charts including Top 40, AAA, Americana, College, and Jazz. An ivory-searing New Orleans piano style established an essential juju, but his exploratory pop gems revealed a spectrum of influences from art rock to Americana and beyond. Initially signed as a jazz artist, he subsequently charted with an Americana roots release and recorded two well-regarded releases for BMG Records that expanded his audience exponentially. His subsequent albums were released on various independent labels and his own label, Seedling Records, established in 2003 to release his own records and that of other artists.
Having spent three years in Nashville where a packed weekly schedule of co-writing sharpened his writing to a keen edge, A.J. says that back home in California his song craft took an instant turn. “I began writing for myself again,” he confirms. He also began collaborating with the great Leon Russell (“A Song for You,” “This Masquerade”). “It’s a thrill and a little surreal to collaborate with Leon Russell. He’s been an influence and an inspiration as long as I can remember,” said A.J. at the time.
A dedicated family man, an adventurous artist and a confident creator; in this phase in his life and career, A.J. is focused less on expectations and more on instincts. “I generally want to do the stuff that makes me feel good,” he says. And like the blues greats who influenced him, A.J. Croce continues to create stellar music with longevity, authenticity and truth.
VIDEO: “Momentary Lapse of Judgement”
VIDEO: One on One: A.J. Croce
Thank you to the sponsors that help us bring art shows, plays, concerts, and other live entertainment acts to The Matthews. We couldn’t do it without you.
KEVN Black Hills Fox, South Dakota Arts Council, Great Western Bank, Killian’s Tavern, Black Hills Pioneer, Century 21, Bay Leaf Cafe, City of Spearfish, Wolff’s Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Lucky’s 13 Pub, Spearfish Holiday Inn, Zonta Club of Spearfish, Optimist Club of Spearfish, The Matthews’ family, The Kelley family — CLICK HERE to visit these sponsors’ business websites.
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