The Mindful is an experimental rock trio based in Sacramento, founded by guitarist and lead singer Brett Vaughn in 2016. He’s joined by bassist Dominique Salazar-Turner and drummer Alan Gamboa. They hopscotch between heavy metal, prog rock, jazz and freedom at the speed of thought.
Vaughn started composing songs for “Full Blown Gallery” (yes, he writes out the sheet music for his bandmates) and developing lyrics as a student at Berklee College of Music from 2011 to 2013. The project launched as a live band in 2016, and Gamboa joined in 2017 after meeting Vaugn as a jam session. They drilled the music together for four to five months as a duo. Salazar-Turner joined the band in the spring of 2018 after filling in at a live gig.
The Mindful’s sound is rooted in a variety of improvisational influences, but you shouldn’t label them a Jam Band. “I don’t really utilize that term, it’s not safe,” says Vaughn. “I usually go with experimental rock. I definitely have been influenced by bands like the Grateful Dead or the Allman Brothers, but I feel like the Jam Band term usually goes with groups [whose] aesthetic is so different from ours. We have a lot of songs that aren’t based on jams too, songs that don’t have any improv at all. ”
The Mindful sat down with Insight producer Cody Drabble to talk about the story behind their debut album “Full Blown Gallery.”
You can see The Mindful perform at Shady Lady Saloon in Sacramento on Friday, Oct. 18 at 9:00 p.m. and at Hotel Utah Saloon in San Francisco on Thursday Oct. 10 at 8:00 p.m. For a complete list of upcoming shows, check their events page.