Track Premiere: A.J. Croce covers Sly & the Family Stone

AJ Croce

Tune—featuring Flea guesting—appears as bonus track on his new reissue.

By Blurt Staff

The ever-soulful A.J. Croce has his gem of a 1995 album, That’s Me in the Bar, reissued by Compass as a special 20th anniversary edition. It boasts a very special bonus track that was originally recorded during the album sessions but ultimately not released, and we’ve got a pretty good idea that you BLURT readers will recognize it right off the bat. Check out our special premiere:

Yes indeed it is “If You Want Me to Stay,” written by a dude called Sly Stone—you may have heard of him. And Croce’s version has all of the irresistible grooves found on the soul/funk king’s 1973 original. Yet it had remained locked in the vault. Featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers bass player Flea, it had the vocals re-recorded by Croce this year in Los Angeles.

Notes Croce, “Jim Keltner and Flea were next door neighbors and talked about working on something, my 2nd record came along at the right time to bring us all together. Jim and I both wanted more classic soul influences on Bar but the label was really resistant. It took 20 years to recover the original 2″ tapes we recorded of the Sly Stone song and sing a final vocal. Hope you dig it.”

That’s Me in the Bar was produced by master drummer Jim Keltner and boasts appearances from the likes of Ry Cooder, David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Bill Payne (Little Feat), Robben Ford, Sid Page (Sly Stone & The Family Stone), and others. Keltner was known for his selectivity behind the board, and he produced only four artists other than Croce: Jerry Lee Lewis and Ry Cooder, to name a couple. (Croce and Keltner have remained close friends to this day.) With his unique jazz piano stylings and blues-tinged voice, the 12-track album established Croce as a singular artistic force in 1995.

Croce will be touring this fall:

Oct 2 – Pawleys Island, SC – Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art

Oct 3 – Savannah, GA – Dollhouse Productions

Nov 5 – Austin, TX – One World Theater

Nov 11-12 – Long Beach, CA – Carpenter Performing Arts Center

May 6 – Rochester, MN – Mayo Civic Center Presentation Hall


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