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Review: Minton Sparks, Performing Live At The Station Inn in the Heart of Downtown Nashville

Minton Sparks
Performing Live At The Station Inn in the Heart of Downtown Nashville
[Self-released (2010)]

In the tradition of the great storytellers, and other sundry spoken word artists, Minton Sparks gives and takes with a voice as colorful as the Southern sensibilities of her prose. That voice is just what you’d expect—malleable, instinctive and homey—whether she’s sweetly growling an intriguing bio, “I Am From,” cleverly relating the double entendre-rich “Fill Her Up,” or vividly sketching some pretty interesting characters—the “Dance Caller At Marco Polo Theme Park,” and a revival preacher whose first name was John and last name was 3:16. What is delightfully unexpected—and guaranteed to increase each listener’s attention span—is the nuance and rhythm added to this mix by guitarist John Jackson. His picking on the appealing “Giddy Up Gibson” is right from the playbook of Johnny Cash and The Tennessee Two. Call it a second voice, Jackson’s accompaniment embraces and embellishes, lays low and simmers in all the right places, so that Sparks can expressively and effectively deliver the payoff—each and every time.

—Ellen Geisel (Ballston Lake, NY)

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