Music comes first for performer Ronny Cox

08/22/2012 5:00 AM

08/24/2012 6:22 AM

New Mexico native Ronny Cox — singer, actor and storyteller — will perform a show at 8 p.m. Friday at Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 Museum Blvd.

Cox, who had his first big break starring in 1972’s “Deliverance,” has been a musician his whole life. His rock ’n’ roll band put him through college, he said during a telephone interview Wednesday, and his ability to play guitar was one of the main reasons he was cast in “Deliverance.”

“Early on in my career, everyone knew I could play guitar,” Cox said. “But now when people see me with a guitar around my neck, they think something’s wrong here.”

Since playing the guitarist in “Deliverance,” Cox has had his share of roles in films such as “RoboCop” in 1987 and “Total Recall” in 1990. He even starred in an episode of “Desperate Housewives” in 2006.

Despite having a successful acting career, Cox said that music now comes first in his life.

“I’d just rather play music these days,” Cox said. “I won’t let any movie or television show interfere with any gig that I have booked. They have to work around me or I won’t take it.”

Cox’s shows are small, intimate affairs, and the house lights are usually on throughout the show so he can see the audience. Cox said his shows are less of a performance but more of an opportunity for him to share what he loves with the audience and form a connection.

“I like it to feel like a shared event, like how it used to feel sitting around in the kitchen or on the porch sharing music with your family and friends,” Cox said. “People liken my show to a two-act play that has a whole lot of music to it.”

Cox will be accompanied by two instrumentalists playing fiddle, mandolin, accordion and keyboard.

The concert is part of a series that Cowtown is hosting through Nov. 10. The lineup also includes The Steel Wheels at 4 p.m. Sunday.

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