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San Diego Ska: From The Amalgamated to OttlyMercer

Jason Yandall and Tyler French of Imperial Beach started their band OttlyMercer in Yandall's grandma's backyard. Now they play shows around San Diego. Their premiere album is due out this summer.

Jason Yandall of Imperial Beach plays the drums for The Amalgamated and OttlyMercer, two bands only now beginning to go their separate ways.

But there are no hard feelings.

Though Yandall will likely play his last show with Amalgamated next month to focus more of his attention on OttlyMercer, he said Ottly may not exist today without the help of The Amalgamated.

The Amalgamated's guitarist Reggie Costa is helping to mix and produce OttlyMercer’s first album due out this summer, while lead singer Rip Peña acted as the group’s promoter, helping them book their first shows. 

Playing the drums for Amalgamated for the last year afforded Yandall the opportunity to play shows with “bands out of LA that I listen to everyday,” he said.

OttlyMercer started informally in June 2009, when the group of friends got together to play a show in Yandall’s grandma’s backyard for his niece’s graduation party.

Things changed quickly and a month later the group was playing Brick by Brick and shows at other venues around San Diego.

“Weve come along way since then,” Yandall said laughing.

A year later playing in grandma's backyard, the group released their first music video directed by Nick Tubbs for the song “Ska Tune” which will be included on their yet to be named upcoming album.

While The Amalgamated has more of a traditional ska sound, Yandall describes OttlyMercer as a ska band with some “upbeat reggae and a little touch of soul.”

"It's not mainstream. It's not on the radio," he said.

You can catch OttlyMercer at SOMA downtown May 28, at the in IB June 3 and at Gallagher’s Irish Pub in Ocean Beach June 30.

The Amalgamated will play a show at Kensington Club on Adams Avenue tonight at 9 p.m.

OttlyMercer is made up of seven different players.

Heavy D on lead vocals, Tyler French of Imperial Beach on lead guitar and backup vocals, Mike Miriam also on lead guitar and backup vocals, Tasi Yandall is the band’s bass player, Rudy Guzman plays the Hammond organ and James Garcia is the band’s saxaphonist.

Sean Malabanan May 07, 2011 at 01:31 PM
That was awesome! IB locals getting some. That took me back to the 90's, SUBLIME and 142 Daisy St. Make IB proud.
Mike Hayward May 07, 2011 at 08:38 PM
blues is better, and hardcore punk too, but kudos to the local i.b. guys, i hate pot and people who smoke it. the moron drug.!
Mikey Irwin September 29, 2011 at 10:20 PM
Ottly is one of the best live performances iv ever been apart of. They get people involved and dancing till they cant stand any longer. They walk on the stage smelling like pot sometimes but don't be a hater! Especially in Southern California. IB musicians that rep good music and not legal/not legal weed politics.

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