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Photo by Crooked2th Studios @Crooked2thStudios

Many of Gabby Minton’s earliest memories are of watching her father perform in and around Garland.

“I wanted to perform from a small age,” Minton recalled. Around 12, she said she “picked up guitar and violin.”

She figured out guitar pretty quickly, something she credits to her musical home life, where listening to records and impromptu living-room jam sessions were a daily occurrence. By seventh grade, she covered “War Pigs” for the middle school talent show. She wrote her first song, “Sam,” at the age of 18, shortly after giving birth to her first son, after whom the song is named.

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Minton opted for an open adoption, meaning she could keep in touch with her child. During the Near Southside’s ArtsGoggle in October, the indie-folk singer-songwriter paid musical tribute to Sam, who is almost 13 and lives in Oklahoma.

Since moving to Fort Worth in early 2021, Minton has become an established presence in the local scene, gigging weekly or more frequently at Panther Island Brewing and area bars and restaurants. Singer-songwriter Simone Nicole ultimately snagged the Panthy award for best female vocalist, but Minton said she was thrilled to be nominated.

“I did not expect that at all,” she said. “Joe texted me. I was like, ‘What? What is happening?’ It really made me feel good. I know people are hearing me.”

By “Joe,” Minton means rapper J/O/E. The two have been dating since 2021. Minton, having performed and worked in Dallas, feels Fort Worth’s musicians are the most welcoming and collaborative in North Texas.

Between 2015 and 2021, Minton took a hiatus from songwriting and performing as she raised her second and third children. A career shift from hospitality management to her current corporate job, plus the support of her extended family, who take turns watching her two kids, gave her the bandwidth to resume writing and performing — something she said she can’t live without.

Minton recorded her first two singles in December 2021 at 3Fifty7 Studios just southeast of downtown with producer Alberto Ramirez (J/O/E, Tavo tha Trill, Dank817). “New Old Day” and “A World Without,” recorded with her father, multi-instrumentalist Mark Minton, on the snare, were written when she was 18.

“I just sat on them,” Minton said. “Those are the first songs I wrote in my life. ‘A World Without’ is about dating someone and wanting to remain friends when it doesn’t work out. I’m big on journaling and getting your feelings out. I go back and re-read them. Then I’ll construct them into songs.”

The following year, Minton hit the studio again, this time in Dallas at SadPeoplesDonuts to record the 12-song LP It’s OK, which features the singer-songwriter on vocals, keyboard, violin, guitar, and xylophone. Although it’s too early to share details, Minton also plans to release an EP this year with producer Samuel Culp (Yokyo).

“I’m trying to branch out a little bit with this one,” she said. “It’ll be a little heavier: less happy-sad and more sad-mad.”

Moving to Fort Worth has sparked her creativity and pushed her to release songs that have waited 12 years to be recorded. She says she’s only getting started.

“It feels like I’m at the beginning of some big things that are coming,” she said.

 

Gabby Minton
Noon Sat, Jan 13, at Wishbone & Flynt, 334 Bryan Av, FW. Free.

Minton: “I know people are hearing me.”
Photo Nance Perez @itsnanceperez

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