In music and life, Poetic Minds think alike

Chemistry, like-mindedness and an interest in working together are three key elements to any working relationship.

It is especially vital when you are in a band. Creating something and presenting your art to an audience not once but thousands of times can be taxing. Add to that long hours spent together working or traveling to your next job and it is no wonder some bands disintegrate before they get going. As much fun as it is to read about and perhaps even witness bands exploding on each other on stage or falling apart in a dressing room, it’s not so much fun for someone whose income depends on the simple ability to get along.

All of the necessary elements are clicking for Durango rock band The Poetic Minds. Referred to as a “super-group” by guitarist and vocalist Don Dooley, the frontman is psyched that he found three other musicians with whom he has quickly gelled. Along with Dooley, Poetic Minds are Evan Stambler on drums, Wade Finn on fiddle, vocals and bass and James Mirabal on guitar, bass and keyboards. They’ll play tonight at the Summit.

What began as the duo of Dooley and Stambler has grown into a band with the addition of two more members.

“We have a group of people here, and we’re not the Poetic Minds without all four of us there. Everyone serves a purpose and has a real function in the band,” Dooley said last week from KDUR radio studio. “I’ve always found with different groups, groups come together serendipitously, and definitely in this case that happened, but there was a need for more complexity in the music.”

That complexity reflects itself in a collection of songs band members have put together for their first album, a collection of rock and folk, with some acid jazz-influenced hip-hop with a guest emcee thrown in. Genre crossing is common among jam bands, a sub-group that takes its own share of blows from critics. But there is something to be said for not pigeonholing oneself into one particular niche. It allows a band to adapt to the physical, and more importantly, the audible needs of its audience.

“There are plenty of different venues that have different needs, and our band can change genre based on that,” Dooley said. “That’s the truth to The Poetic Minds. This group is so versatile. I really feel lucky to be part of the group.”

The band’s CD was recorded in a home studio in Durango, where it wants to continue to have as its base. Modern technology doesn’t dictate where a band needs to be located to get what it wants out of a record. The Poetic Minds is setting its sights on touring, all while continuing to have lives here.

“That’s really part of this scene. You are seeing an artist-run industry come up. Musicians are able to record themselves now and release this music, and it’s on the musicians to back the record and get this stuff out there,” Dooley said. “We want to be based out of Durango, but we don’t want to be stuck in Durango.”

Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at