Written By Minton Sparks

MintonSparksOfficeWindow1. What project are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a new record called No Ladies Land. We hope to have a video album that goes along with it. I’m doing a songwriting/storytelling series where we recast the narratives in country songs to find a larger story.

2. What does storytelling do for you in your life?
Storytelling is a line of energy that sews one heart into another. We link ourselves to each other by speaking our stories, For example, “I grew up here”, “I fell in love there” , “My heart was broken then”. We navigate the world and connect to each other by story. Usually when you hear the truth of someone’s story you find compassion for them , even if they are quite different from you. At the same time we are telling ourselves a story about who we are. If a person wants to change, they have to change the story they are telling themselves about who they are. Narratives work on several levels. We have cultural narratives that set standards for how we treat one another.

We know who we are because of the stories we tell in community. If we tell stories of basic decency then we have a general standard of decency. If we tell stories to make each other afraid of one another, then we behave towards others as if we are under attack– even if the attack is a fabricated narrative.

3. What drew you to storytelling?
Same answer as above. I’m trained as a therapist . Trained to listen to the stories we tell to ourselves and about ourselves.

4. Who is your biggest influence when it comes to storytelling?
I came to storytelling through songwriting. So I am still assembling my influences. Tom Waits is an incredible storyteller, as is Lucinda Williams., and songwriter, Darrell Scott. I’m a huge fan of storyteller Kevin Kling. Spoken word artist, Anis Mojgani is one of my favorites as well.