Label: Warner Music Nashville
Hometown: Benton City, WA
Birthday: July 29, 1973
Producers: Paul Worley and James Otto
Interesting Fact: I’m 6’5” tall and have a 3 lb Chihuahua…opposites attract.
Outside Interests: Vintage cars and trucks—I’m a major gearhead. I’ve got a 1960 Cadillac and a 1970 K5 Blazer.
Musical Influences: Ronnie Milsap, Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Hank Jr., Al Green, Bob Seger. Country soul and rock ‘n’ roll baby!
Favorite Records: Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music by Ray Charles, Red Headed Stranger by Willie Nelson, Whiskey Bent & Hell Bound by Hank Jr., Al Green’s Greatest Hits, and Trouble by Ray LaMontagne.
Just two years after the release of his debut album, country music sensation James Otto is back with “Groovy Little Summer Song,” the lead single from his forthcoming sophomore album, James Otto. The track was co-written by Otto, Al Anderson and Carson Chamberlain, and co-produced by Otto and Grammy award-winning record producer and session guitarist Paul Worley. “This record is definitely a country soul album,” Otto says, referring to the sound that has come to full fruition on James Otto. “It’s something that’s always been inside me, because those are my two major influences. I’ve always heard that country soul sound when I listened to people like Conway Twitty and Ronnie Milsap and certain things by Kenny Rogers. But I also loved and grew up listening to a lot of Memphis R&B and soul music.”
Otto’s debut release, Sunset Man, for which he co-wrote nine of the eleven songs, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. Its first single, “Just Got Started Lovin’ You,” was the year’s most played single at country radio and made it to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs. It helped earn Otto nominations for Grammy Best Male Country Vocal Performance, ACM Top New Male Vocalist and CMA New Artist of the Year. He also earned Song of the Year awards from the ACM, CMA and MusicRow magazine for co-writing the Jamey Johnson hit “In Color” with Johnson and Lee Thomas Miller. The song also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song.