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Minton Sparks w/ Lauren Pratt – [spoken word / poetry / songwriter]
April 1, 2017 @ 8:00 pm
WHEN: Saturday April 1, 2017
DOORS: 7pm | SHOW: 8pm
GENRE: spoken word / poetry / songwriter
AGES: all ages
SEATING: seated general admission
TICKETS: $15 adv. / $18 d.o.s. / $25 VIP (guaranteed seating in 1st three rows!)
In the South, there are certain figures that take on a mythological air. They’re the folks that only have one name below the Mason-Dixon—the Dollys, the Garths, the Rebas of the world. They feel like family even though you’ve never met them; they make you rethink your patch of ground by telling you about theirs; they conjure some old storm inside you that you didn’t even know was brewing.
Nashville speaker-songwriter Minton Sparks follows in the tradition of these legends—but on her own terms.
Though her spoken word/honky-tonk hybrid performances elicit whoops, hollers, and general hell-raising from beer-swilling good ole boys and latte-sipping intellectuals alike; and though she’s been dubbed everything from the lovechild of Flannery O’Connor and Hank Williams to a backwoods Lucinda Williams, no one knows exactly what or who Minton Sparks really is.
On the one hand, she’s a decorated poet, playwright, and author that’s been invited to prestigious events like the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and Berry College’s Southern Women Writer’s Conference (alongside Maya Angelou and Kaye Gibbons). On the other hand, she’s a blue-collar troubadour that’s performed in the American Songbook Series at the Lincoln Center, appeared at the venerable Old Towne School of Folk Music, and served as teller-in-residence at the Jonesborough National Storytelling Festival.
Whatever she is and whatever she’s doing, it’s working: Minton’s been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, BBC’s Bob Harris Show, and WoodSong’s Old-Time Radio. She’s also shared the stage with country and folk heavyweights like Rodney Crowell, John Prine, Nanci Griffith, and Punch Brothers.
A Tennessee native, former social worker, divinity school dropout, first-ever Spoken Word Award recipient at the Conference on Southern Literature, and founder of The Nashville Writing and Performance Institute, Minton established herself as Nashville’s first non-singing country singer with the release of 2001’s Middlin’ Sisters, where she had a chance to collaborate with the legendary Waylon Jennings.
Since then, she’s released two studio follow-ups—This Dress (2003), featuring a blues cut with Keb’ Mo. and Sin Sick (2005), where the Punch Brother’s Chris Thile haunted her words with his otherworldly mandolin—and a live record cut at Nashville’s Vahalla of bluegrass, The Station Inn.
Lauren Pratt is a budding Americana Folk Singer-songwriter currently hiding away in the Appalachians. Easily recognized by her poetic storytelling and powerfully emotive voice, Pratt fuses classical training with homegrown fingerstyle guitar and lulling vocal melodies as the vehicle for her power drama ballads. Her debut album Days Like Tonight was released independently under the moniker Miss Lauren Pratt in August 2015. Her second project, Live at Monster Studios, features several songs from Days Like Tonight and was recorded live at Monster Studios in Nashville, TN in July 2016.
Pratt is an active participant in the Nashville community as a member of NSAI, Folk Alliance International, and SESAC. She received an honorable mention in the 2016 Telluride Troubadour Contest, showcased at the 2016 Folk Alliance International Conference, and was a finalist in the 2015 LÄRABAR Renola-Remix Contest.
“Pratt forges her own distinct path… Equally at ease with a warbling coo as she is with stern condescension, Days Like Tonight announces Pratt as a voice that can capture any mood and a writer of close-knit tales.”
– Bucket Full of Nails