Founded in 2006 in Santa Cruz, California, On The Spot Trio toured nationally from 2009-2012 before landing on the East Coast when founding members Danny Mayer and Kris Yunker came to play with Soulive’s Alan Evans’s organ trio Playonbrother (Now AE3). Since then, OTS has been a project they’ve both returned to between many other substantial projects over the years. They’ve recently been joined by drummer Andrew Klein who brings a fresh sound to a longstanding and established dynamic.
Guitarist Mayer is usually on the road with his latest project Star Kitchen with The Disco Biscuit’s bassist Marc Brownstein. Before that, he crossed riffs with Eric Krasno in The Eric Krasno Band and fronted The Danny Mayer Trio with Michelangelo Carubba (Tukuaz) and Nate Edgar (The Nth Power).
After a year with Goose, keys/bass player Yunker now fronts The Kris Yunker Trio with featured guests such as Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist Will Bernard, Mike Dillon (The Mike Dillon Band), Jen Durkin (Deep Banana Blackout), Paulie Philippone (West End Blend) and Adrian Tramantano (Kung Fu).
Drummer Andrew Klein, the newest member of OTS, joins the band from Big Mean Sound Machine, which he co founded, toured and recorded with for the band’s near decade-long existence. Klein rounds out the lineup with his unique rhythmic style, incorporating aspects of Afrobeat, jazz, funk, hip-hop, avant-garde, experimental music, and a healthy infusion of improvisation.
Together, OTS brings their versatile sound of psychedelic afrobeat influenced soul-jazz with just a bit of the improvisational jam and boogaloo feels.
Much like the city of Santa Cruz, California where On The Spot Trio (OTS) originally formed, their music over the last fourteen years has morphed into a satisfying landscape of entertaining melodic roller coasters, occasionally gritty, but always returning to the beauty of the naturally funky elements that create an excitingly unique experience for anyone willing to strap in and give it a try.
The dapper Danny Mayer and funky Kris Yunker met in 2006 when Yunker saw a Santa Cruz Craigslist ad seeking an organist who also played left-handed bass. While he thought about answering it, he went to class at Cabrillo College where he chatted with his new desk neighbor he’d never met before, one Danny Mayer. Mayer asked Yunker if he happened to play organ and left-handed bass— Mayer and drummer Emery Nelson had just posted an ad on Craigslist for one.
The lads brought OTS to the East Coast in 2012 when they both came to play with Soulive’s Alan Evans’ organ trio Playonbrother (Now AE3). Since then, both have taken on many other substantial projects with some all-stars of the U.S. music industry. Guitarist Mayer is usually on the road with his latest project Star Kitchen with The Disco Biscuit’s bassist Marc Brownstein. Before that, he crossed riffs with Eric Krasno in The Eric Krasno Band and fronted The Danny Mayer Trio with Michelangelo Carubba (Tukuaz) and Nate Edgar (The Nth Power). Keys/bass player Yunker recently debuted his solo album “Bicoastal Waves” with a series of release performances featuring Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist Will Bernard, vocalist Jen Durkin (Deep Banana Blackout), keys player Paulie Philippone (West End Blend) and drummer Adrian Tramantano (Kung Fu). Later this year, Yunker and Evans will be releasing a series of Lo-Fi tunes on Spotify as 7 Day Weekend.
The advantage to the founding members of OTS being so busy elsewhere is that both musicians bring in new life and flavor to OTS every time they get together. Rounding out the trio with different drummers specializing in various rhythmic styles has helped OTS find their versatile sound of psychedelic afrobeat influenced soul-jazz with just a bit of the improvisational jam and boogaloo feels. The OTS drum throne has been occupied by Emery Nelson (founding member of OTS), Jeff Wilson (Futurebirds) and currently Andrew Klein (Big Mean Sound Machine).
OTS’s previous releases include the album “Shag” (2014, Big Ol’ Dirty Records), “Soul Banshee EP” and “Suction 45” (2012, Colemine Records) and the album “Straight Out The Garden” (2010, U & L Records).
-Written by Kelly Burr
“On The Spot Trio caught my ear right away, from the first note. I made sure I went to check them out. They had me sit in which was an added bonus.” –Russ Lawton (Trey Anastasio Band)
“If you like some guitar-laden psychedelic soul music, look no further than Mayer and make a point of it to catch him in one of his various projects; you will not be disappointed.” –Live for Live Music
“Since the first OTS session I recorded ten years ago now, a lot has changed but the one thing that remains the same is my love for these guys and the music they make. Hefe is another timeless song that will, like the band, stand the test of time.” –Alan Evans (Soulive)