On The Spot Trio is: Kris Yunker: Hammond Organ, Bass Keys, & Clavinet. Emery Nelson: 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 soul jazz stylings with modern jazz improvisational chops to create a dance party for the ages. Guitarist Danny Mayer and drummer Emery Nelson were introduced through mutual, musician friends, & immediately knew they would be musical brothers for years to come. They were fueled by dreams of playing in a Hammond Organ based trio. Within six months Mayer met versatile keyboard man Kris Yunker met while studying music at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz County, California. Nelson was from Sonora California, Mayer was a Florida transplant, and Yunker moved to the coast from Texas, but 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 Santa Cruz County clubs like Moe's Alley, Don Quixote's Music Hall and The Crepe Place. They've hit the festival circuit, giving dance-hungry crowds the music they desire at the Zayante Hoedown and the River Ranch Music Festival. Yet, in the past year alone, they have completed several successful tours throughout the U.S. & have had the honor of sharing the stage with major influences and friends such as: Eric Krasno (Soulive), Stanton Moore (Galactic), Russ Lawton (Trey Anastasio Band), Nigel Hall (Soulive), Ray Paczowski (Trey Anastasio Band), Sam Kininger (Soulive), & Big Sam Williams (Dirty Dozen Brass Band), to name just a few.
On The Spot Trio spent December 2009 in the northeast, using a short run of successful shows to fuel a ten day camp out 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, & some rhythm guitar throughout the album. Soulive's own, Sam Kininger makes a guest appearance, playing Alto Sax, on the tune 'Arugula' as well. ‘Straight Out The Garden' was released in the US in March 2010 & has created a serious buzz in the Bay Area music scene, & beyond.
The trio has become efficient, tight, & funky. They 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 making 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, Kris, 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)
"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)