With a four star review in Rolling Stone, A.J. Croce’s Cage of Muses is a shining milestone on the circuitous road that the singer-songwriter has traveled – from his debut as a jazz influenced blues-based artist to his evolution into a pop music iconoclast. But at this juncture, A.J. is more focused on the present and the future than the past. And after a three-year stint living in Nashville, he has come home to California.
“Nashville has become a real center for all kinds of music,” A.J. says. “You’re more likely to run into Jack White or Robert Plant than Dolly Parton.” In Music City, a packed weekly schedule of co-writes sharpened his writing to a keen edge, but while tailoring songs for other artists was an invaluable experience, A.J. says that there was always a sense of compromise. Returning to California, his writing took an instant turn. “I began writing for myself again,” he confirms.
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 all eight of his albums positioned in various charts including Top 40, College, AAA, Americana, 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 a string of well-regarded releases for BMG Records that expanded his audience exponentially.
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. And like the blues artists who influenced him, A.J. Croce continues to create compelling music with longevity, authenticity and truth.