The Ronny Cox Trio
River of Grass Concert Series – 02/17/12
When Ronny Cox (www.ronnycox.com) headlines a trio that includes Karen Mal (www.karenmal.com) on mandolin and Radoslav Lorkovic (www.radoslavlorkovic.com) on piano and accordion, one plus one plus one does not equal three, it equals pure harmony. While these three brilliant musicians all bring their own tremendous talents to any stage, together they create a songwriter’s launchpad uniquely handcrafted for Ronny Cox’s signature story-telling, song-singing style.
Now Ronny is a master of both the spoken, written and sung word, and tonight he and his trio went all out at the River of Grass Café (Davie, FL – www.riverofgrass.org). Performing a mix of his own songs interlaced with an eclectic selection of folk masterpieces, Ronny accented each piece with a story, personal insight, or selected imagery which made for a non-stop performance of non-stop fun all evening long.
Proving Ronny Cox to be a man who appreciates the works of others as well as his own, the trio kicked off the evening with a tribute to Micky Newberry (1940 – 2002) who in 1980 was given the distinction of being the youngest songwriter ever inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Playing How I Love Them Old Songs from Micky’s 1971 album ‘Frisco Mabel Joy, one could almost feel Micky smiling down from above. They then immediately rocketed into the Larry Bastian and Tom Bocci song Sanctuary, a tale of how a wild mare seeks a safe place in the wild to bear her new foal. Ronny himself is so enamored by this song that it appears on no less than seven of his own CD’s.
But the night would not have been complete without the fine selection of Ronny Cox originals to which we were treated. My three favorites included The Night John Huston Died where you can give ‘em hell with a burro funeral, Hozh’q where your true wealth is measured by your participation in life rather than your possessions, and Portales where God help us please cause we’re drinking Rolling Rock beer and eating Velveeta cheese. Now if that selection alone isn’t a slice of life good enough to fill your ears with cheer, well I don’t know what is.
Yet the evening was not without its somber side. Amidst all the fun and frivolity, the most touching moment in the entire show by far was when the trio played Ronny’s tribute to his childhood sweetheart and only wife Mary, now gone these past five years, titled Against The Wishes Of My Heart. What braver and more heartfelt piece could any songwriter sing than such a longing yet joyful tribute to his one true love. It left me breathless.
Take it from me, this was one great evening of music, in two acts, by three fantastic performers. So the next time someone says one plus one plus one equals three, you remind them that it can be so much more. Especially when you’re talking about he Ronny Cox Trio. You can count on it.