On The Spot (OTS) Trio: a fiercely funky threesome of musicians from Santa Cruz, Calif., determined to take decisive action in espousing the doctrine of soul jazz dance parties across the land.
OTS Trio is:
Danny Mayer: Guitar, Jeff Wilson: Drums, & Kristopher Yunker: Hammond Organ, Rhodes, Clavinet, and Bass Keys.
The inspiration is rooted in 1970s soul jazz and funk. The guys in OTS Trio mold that inspiration into a millennial soup of rock, jazz, afro beat, and improvisational groove. Based out of the fertile musical soil that is Santa Cruz County, California, OTS Trio give the NorCal treatment to the old-school tradition of the Hammond organ trio. If you’re looking for the scene of inspired musical action, OTS Trio stands as a great place to start.
Alan Evans — drummer extraordinaire of Soulive — produced and appeared on OTS Trio’s debut album, “Straight Out the Garden.” During those sessions, recorded at Evans’ East Coast recording studio, the band forged a creative bond with the Soulive skinman that now results in the band’s second album, “SHAG.”
Recorded in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains, OTS Trio and Alan Evans bind their musical minds and talents together to create “SHAG;” a fresh combination of funk, soul, jazz, & afro beat, tinged with a hint of rock and plenty of inspiration from the redwoods which surround the property where the album was recorded.
“SHAG” hits shelves and digital stores in March 2012. As a bonus, expect a 7” vinyl-only release of extra tracks from OTS Trio’s “SHAG” sessions on Colemine Records, as well as an EP titled “Full Mono Breakdown,” containing mono remixes of tracks from the album.
OTS Trio have entertained funk-hungry audiences at venues in Santa Cruz County, up and down California, and well beyond. They have secured monthly residencies at such renowned venues as the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco and the Crepe Place in Santa Cruz, Calif. They’re a nationally touring band & have appeared at venues including the Catskill Chill Music Festival in Hancock, New York, as well as clubs throughout The Pacific North West, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, & Vermont! The band have appeared and performed with Alan Evans (Soulive), DJ Logic, Monophonics, Eric Krasno (Soulive), Stanton Moore (Galactic), Russ Lawton (Trey Anastasio Band), Joey Porter (The Motet, Juno What), Ray Paczowski (Trey Anastasio Band), Nigel Hall, (Soulive, Warren Haynes Band), Sam Kininger (Soulive), and Big Sam Williams (Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Big Sam’s Funky Nation), Wil Blades, 7 Come 11, Teddy Presberg Quartet, Boca do Rio, Juno What, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Orgone, Particle, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and many more….
-By Graham Haworth
Keep An Eye Out For The Trio On Tour & Come Check Us Out!
On The Spot Trio is: : Kristopher Yunker Hammond Organ, Bass Keys, Rhodes & Clavinet. Jeff Wilson: Drums. & Danny Mayer: Guitar.
On The Spot is exactly where these three musicians stand when they settle into a heavy funk-laden groove. Formed in July 2006, O.T.S. Trio mixes classic funky soul jazz stylings with modern jazz improvisational chops to create a psychedelic dance party for the ages. Guitarist Danny Mayer and drummer Emery Nelson were introduced through mutual musician friends, and immediately knew they would be musical brothers for years to come. They were fueled by dreams of playing in a Hammond Organ-based trio. Six months later, Mayer met versatile keyboard man Kristopher Yunker while studying music at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz County, Calif. Along with Nelson, the three musicians quickly found common ground amongst influences ranging from soul jazz greats Jimmy Smith and Lonnie Smith to Medeski, Martin, & Wood; Soulive and uber-guitarist John Scofield.
Since they began performing, On The Spot Trio has been a regular at Bay Area clubs like Moe’s Alley, Don Quixote’s Music Hall, and The Crepe Place in Santa Cruz, Calif. The band has also graced the stages of The Boom Boom Room, Pier 23 and The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. They’ve hit the festival circuit, giving dance-hungry crowds the music they desire at the Zayante Hoedown, River Vibes Music Festival, Savor The Summit Festival and the River Ranch Music Festival. And in the past year alone, they have completed multiple successful tours throughout the country, sharing the stage with major influences and friends such as: Eric Krasno (Soulive), Stanton Moore (Galactic), Russ Lawton (Trey Anastasio Band), Joey Porter (The Motet, Juno What), Ray Paczowski (Trey Anastasio Band), Nigel Hall, (Soulive), Sam Kininger (Soulive), and Big Sam Williams (Dirty Dozen Brass Band), to name just a few. The Trio has also been booked alongside acts such as The Ray Paczowski & Russ Lawton Duo, Wil Blades, 7 Come 11, Teddy Presberg Quartet, Boca do Rio, Juno What, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Orgone, Particle, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, & Soulive!
On The Spot Trio spent December 2009 in the northeast using two successful shows in Vermont to fuel a ten-day campout at Playonbrother Studios in Hatfield, Massachusetts. With Alan Evans of Soulive at the helm, On The Spot Trio’s debut album “Straight Out The Garden” came to fruition filled with warmth and groove. Evans recorded, mixed, co-produced, added percussion and some rhythm guitar on every track on the album. Soulive’s own Sam Kininger makes a guest appearance, playing alto sax on the tune “Arugula.” “Straight Out The Garden” was released in the US in March 2010 by U&L Records, in Japan in August of 2010 by P-Vine Records, and has created a serious buzz in the Bay Area music scene and beyond.
On The Spot Trio has become tight, funky, efficient, and are constantly pushing each other to new heights. Whether they’re playing originals from their album, or covers (ranging from The Meters to Michael Jackson), these guys share a joy for music that’s quickly evident onstage. A particularly tasty drum fill from Nelson elicits a wide grin from Mayer. Yunker’s organ wizardry causes Nelson to break out in a perma-grin that spreads beyond the edge of the stage into the audience.
“We have so much fun playing music, we try our hardest to bring 110 percent every time we play,” says Mayer. “Our goals for every show are to find those divine moments of inspiration, and to make sure people are smiling, dancing, and having a good time!”
~By Graham Haworth
“It’s very rare that an outsider gets to experience the recording of a band’s first album. I feel very lucky to have been involved with Danny, Kristopher, and Emery. At the beginning of the session we were basically strangers but by the end of the session, we were like family. That only happens when the music is right and the vibe is right. I know everyone who hears their album and sees these cats live will feel the same way.”
-Alan Evans (Soulive)
“On The Spot Trio caught my ear right away, from the first note. Groovin, melodic, B3, guitar, and drums. Not a pretentious lick in them. Great guys too.
I was in San Fran and they were playing. I made sure I went to check them out. They had me sit in which was an added bonus.”
-Russ Lawton (Trey Anastasio Band)
-Steve Molitz (Particle)
“On The Spot Trio Lit Up The North Star”
-Craig @ North Star Craft Brewery (Shasta Lake, CA)
“Santa Cruz’s Favorite Organ Trio!”
-Moshe @ Moe’s Alley (Santa Cruz, CA)
“Rising Stars On The Local Music Scene”
-Graham Haworth (Santa Cruz Sentinel)