Minton Sparks, Spinning Tuneful Tales

Minton Sparks in the doorway of a home.

Reviving the song-and-story genre is a tall order. Can Minton Sparks pull it off? hide caption

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Sin Sick might just revive a genre that appeared to have died out with Alice's Restaurant: storytelling set to music.

Minton Sparks is a poet, storyteller and performance artist rolled into one, and her new recording offers tales tall and small, dark and whimsical, drawing on characters from her native Tennessee and the South.

While snatches of familiar songs sometimes appear... such as "Beautiful Dreamer"... most of the music on the CD is original, written by guitarist John Jackson or keyboardist Steve Conn.

The stage name Minton Sparks is drawn from the surnames of the performer's maternal grandparents. Her given name is Jill Webb-Hill, and she's described herself as a soccer mom. She's also a psychology major with a master's degree in counseling from Vanderbilt.

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