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NEW ALBUM: A.J. Croce - Just Like Medicine
#1
A.J. CROCE ~ Just Like Medicine

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First up – A.J. is very much his own man and definitely not a carbon copy of Jim. I think this album probably cements his identity as an artist, and by the sound of things - soul is where he’s at! He called in some industry heavyweights to collaborate and as a result the album is confident, assured and mature with a slightly 'noir' feeling, for want of a better word. I think even the album artwork perfectly reflects those sentiments – it reminds me of those wonderful heavy card record covers from the 60’s or so – it has 'houding' as we say in SA - an Afrikaans word that covers a multitude of meanings, as they so often do. It means having character and attitude and authenticity.
 
A.J. is predominantly a pianist and singer – these are some of the additional personnel:

Muscle Shoals Horns
Vince Gill – acoustic guitar
Colin Linden - guitars
Steve Cropper -guitars
McCrary Sisters
Dan Penn – producer (he who wrote “Dark End of the Street”, for reference)
 
There are ten songs on the album, including “The Name of the Game” – a previously unrecorded Jim Croce song. Jim would have executed it differently and I know exactly how that would sound (I kinda wish someone would do it the way he would have – totally unfair of me, I know), although that said, I have a feeling that even if I hadn’t known it was Jim who penned this song, I’d have been able to make the association on listening. 
 
Went and checked out A.J.’s website after this thought, and this is what he says “The Name of the Game’ is a song I had known about for a really long time. It was destined for my dad’s next record that he never got to make. The song had been bootlegged, just him playing guitar, but it had never been properly recorded. I thought this song really fit this album. We listened to a couple of my father’s demos and final recordings and tried to treat the song with the respect it deserves — while still making it my own. At the beginning of our track, Colin Linden — who’s amazing — is playing the same guitar my father wrote the song on. You can tell it’s a Jim Croce song, no doubt. And I just love Vince Gill’s playing, so I called him up to add his musical touch to it too.” https://www.ajcrocemusic.com

"The Name of the Game" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKuICqg1e8o
 
It must be difficult to carve out one's own niche on the heels of a definite legacy such as the one A.J.’s father left behind, along with the inevitable comparisons which are unavoidable; I like the fact that he’s not denying those big boots, and honouring Jim whilst following his very own muse. Croce junior has a great handle on the keys and a gritty tenor with a smoky layer at the back of his throat that I sometimes feel like I want him to clear, lol! Reminds me a bit of Macy Grey – to give an idea. That voice can carry what he’s doing here – my rude remarks aside Big Grin
 
Here’s “Gotta Get Out of My Head” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT0PQgP4Tmw - I know exactly what he means when he says “Gotta get out of my head, cos I can’t take the company”! Lol!
 
“Cures Just Like Medicine” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw5wqVp83XE
 
“Other Side of Love” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnrntQkDIIg
 
… and “Heart That Makes Me Whole” co-written with Leon Russell – 



"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson




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#2
listened and loved that linked track above Ruby...

I will listen to the entire album sometime this week

again, cool overview Ruby.
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#3
^Thanks. 
Be interesting to see what you think.
Cool
"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson




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#4
listened to the album...the guy has "soul" running through his veins...

I hear Dr John through some of the tracks

love "gotta get out of my head" best of all
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