Danny Mayer talks new single “Soquel” and Wildfires

We spoke to our friend Danny Mayer about the release of OTS (On The Spot) Trio’s latest single “Soquel”. The release marks the second single the band has released in 2020, along with the fun and up-beat track “Hefe” released in April. The song shares a retro, funky, psychedelic vibe that has become a characteristic of Mayer’s ensembles. OTS has been morphing and evolving for the last 14 years, but this latest single was born back in Santa Cruz and circumstance will have it that its release correlates to the terrible wildfires that have engulfed much of the area.

Danny, admits the timeline of these songs span the decades. Danny and Kris (Yunker) both met in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz was a conscious decision in that each member of the band had chosen to head out that way. It had always been a place they dreamed of living. During their time in Santa Cruz, Danny and Kris wrote maybe as many as 30 songs with their old drummer Jeff Wilson (Futurebirds).

The band recorded a bunch of music with Alan Evans, who flew out to record at their makeshift recording studio in “Soquel”, California.

After establishing OTS out in Santa Cruz, Al asked Danny to come on the road with him and Alan Evans Trio so he split to do that. Eventually, Kris became the keyboard player for Alan Evans trio, which ended up as Play On Brother, which had essentially become 2/3 of the OTS trio.

“Soquel” On The Spot Trio

It was on their way down to Bear Creek Festival in 2013 that the Alan Evan’s van broke down (for the last, more theatrical time). Danny and Kris made it down to the festival and they were able to salvage some of the gigs by asking Mikey (Michelangelo Carubba ) from Turkuaz to finish up the gigs they were booked for. Danny and Kris asked if he would drive back up with them. “We asked him to play the gigs, and we would drop him off where he needed when we were done and we would pay him what we could. So we played 3-4 shows with Mikey, and we ended up recording these two songs and then we sat on them.”

Once Alan Evan’s started his record label Vintage League Music, he said “we still have these songs why don’t we re-listen, rerecord, add some parts and release these singles.” And there you have it: They are now out.

The real significant point of these songs according to Mayer: “These were the last songs we wrote in Santa Cruz. We lived out there for a decade. I met Kirs there, we wrote all these songs out there, in the vein of the redwoods, and the streams, and the cliffs, and the Santa Cruz vibe at the time. When we scheduled “Soquel” to be released, Soquel was actually on fire.  It has been difficult to see all the footage of the roads we used to drive down engulfed in flames and seeing all my friends displaced.”                

Check out “Soquel“.

Photo by Vic Brazen

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