They say 'a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,' but when it comes to A.J. Croce -- the acclaimed San Diego born and bred singer/songwriter (and son of the late, great Jim Croce) -- all you need is a healthy appreciation for good, ol' fashioned soul-tinged rock & roll.
The younger Croce released his ninth studio album, "Just Like Medicine," on Aug. 11, and luckily for local fans, we'll get a much-needed dose of him when he returns home to celebrate the New Year at the Belly Up on Jan. 3.
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His latest album showcases the gritty-voiced virtuoso pianist bestowing a modern take on vintage R&B (in the vein of Stax or Motown Records-era artists), and also features A.J.'s first-ever recording of one of his father's songs -- an unreleased track to boot -- called "The Name of the Game."
It used to be that fans of Jim Croce (or local music in general) could saunter through downtown and head into his namesake restaurant for some tasteful music -- but after relocating to Bankers Hill and subsequently closing its doors in January of 2016, San Diego's current connection to Croce is more based in fond memories than anything.
That makes any chance to catch A.J. Croce live and in concert a shame to pass up.
A.J. Croce headlines the Belly Up on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Tickets are available here.