Ronny Cox and Jack Williams, Together in Concert
Ronny Cox's Wikipedia entry describes him as an actor, singer-songwriter and storyteller, but as far as he's concerned, it's the other way around. "Storyteller" definitely comes first. That becomes evident as soon as he starts reeling off bits of his history, delivering one fascinating anecdote after another about his music career, his myriad stage and screen roles, and even his lengthy marriage to his high-school sweetheart, the only girlfriend he ever had.
In concert, using nothing more than the power of his projected words, Ronny captivates listeners with all kinds of stories. Some are spoken; some are sung. But either way, he's employing that age-old art form to forge connections he says he can't as an actor.
"I love acting, and I'm good at it," Ronny says, without sounding at all egotistical. But even though he's recognized as the face and voice of countless film, TV and stage characters, from his indelible debut in Deliverance to his recent turn in Nashville, Ronny confesses, "I don't love it as much as I do the music - and here's why. With acting, there is - and must be - that imaginary fourth wall between you and the audience. With my show, there's a profound one-on-one sharing that can take place."
He characterizes that experience as addicting - and undeniable.
The music of Jack Williams, rooted in his native South Carolina, was shaped by a 61-year career of playing folk, rock, jazz, R&B, classical and the popular music of the 30s, 40s and 50s. He is counted among the most dynamic performers on today's "folk" circuit - "...one of the most enlightened and entertaining performers I've ever encountered", said Dave Humphreys of Two-Way Street Coffeehouse in Downer's Grove, IL.
Jack is considered a "musician's musician", an uncommonly unique guitarist, a writer of vivid songs with a strong sense of place, and a storyteller in an old Southern tradition who further illustrates each tale with his guitar. Rich Warren of WFMT Chicago's The Midnight Special said, "His artistry is nothing short of amazing". Vic Heyman, in SING OUT!, wrote, "He is one of the strongest guitar players in contemporary folk."
Avoiding the compromises of the commercial music industry, Jack prefers touring under the radar, playing concerts, large and small, week in and week out, from the sheer love of music and performing. Playing for more than 50 house concerts each year, Jack enjoys the intimacy of that venue most of all, with a more personal connection to his listeners. Jack is a sought-after artist on all contemporary acoustic music stages, from coffeehouses and festivals to music halls and city arts stages. From acclaimed appearances at the Newport, Boston, Philadelphia, Kerrville, New Bedford SummerFest Folk Festivals, his musicianship, songs, stories and commanding presence have established him as an uncommonly inspiring and influential performer.
Jack frequently shares his musical knowledge with others. In addition to leading numerous workshops as he tours the country, he has been on the staff of The Swannanoa Gathering in NC, Lamb's Songwriter Retreat in MI, The Folk Project in NJ, WUMB's Summer Acoustic Music Week in NH, and co-hosts a semi-annual Music Workshop Weekend near his home in the Ozarks.