Interview: JAMES OTTO
Special Guest: Underground Stampede
& Black Widow
Friday April 30th
SELF MADE MANÖTo
see JAMES OTTO
in person one might hope that he would have been a first round
draft pick this past weekend at Defensive End by the Buffalo
Six foot Five ďSunset ManĒ
straps on his Guitar and lets that Mountainous Voice flow itís
evident that the Soulful Singer has followed his destiny to become
One of Countryís most Prolific Songwriters & Performers.
may have encountered some Road Blocks on his way to Superstardom
itís been the driving force behind the music that he creates
Following a stint in the Military
made the decision to pursue his childhood obsession of making
Music & headed to
to fulfill that Dream.
some poor Marketing hindered his first release ďDays
of Our LivesĒ
in 2004, which still managed to chart three songs, the Big Man
bounced back with a Vengeance with the 2008 chart busting release
applied the Family Values he was raised with & surrounded himself
with People he could trust to have his back. He became part of
One of Countryís Music most respected Circles of Musicians the
MuzikMafia; a Collection
of Artists that includes A-List
Performers like BIG & RICH and GRETCHEN WILSON.
Both JOHN RICH & KENNY ALPHIN were major contributors to
the success of ďSunset
ManĒ; it truly became a
Family Affair when OTTOíS
Brother-In-Law JAY DeMARCUS
co-wrote ďYou Donít Act
Like A WomenĒ
just over a year since the Dynamic Performer Rocked
fresh off the heels of sharing the
Song of the Year Award & Grammy nomination with JAMEY JOHNSON
for ďIn ColorĒ,
along with his #1 Hit ďJust
Got Started Loviní YouĒ.
is touring with a permanent smile
on his face as he & his wife AMY are expecting their first
Child. Look for JAMES
to spread some of that Sunshine in
this Friday with his new hit single in tow ďGroovy
Little Summer SongĒ.
itís great to speak with again. The
Back Entertainment Group is proud
to be bringing you back to
this Friday Night.
so much we really appreciate all the Love that
Buffalo has shown us
along the way.
I know itís been a long winter for everyone so the Band is
looking forward to coming back to the Club & heating things up a
bit with our new single ďGroovy
Weíve got lots of exciting stuff to cover in the
Zone; first and foremost Congratulations to you & your lovely wife
AMY as your expecting your first child, I understand itís
going to be a Baby Girl.
It is a Baby Girl and we have decided on the name
AVA KATHRYN, we are
absolutely thrilled to begin this new & exciting chapter in our
In having the pleasure of working with you in the past I know
youíre an extremely Family Oriented individual; you especially had
a very close relationship with Grandmother which I can relate to.
Youíve mentioned that not a
single day goes by that you donít think about her talk about the
impact she had on your life.
Thatís right, when she passed it really took its toll on not just
me but my entire family; she truly was the centerpiece of our
family and I will forever admire her strength & character.
The memories that I have of her are with me every day, she
finds her way into my songs and continues to influence me on a
daily basis even though sheís gone.
Obviously becoming a Father to a Daughter will change everything
in your life, what effect do you think it will have on your
Everybody tells me itís going to have a huge effect on me;
especially other Artists, they laugh & say, ďyou know all those
sappy songs about Love & Daddyís Little Girl thatís gonna be YouĒ,
your gonna to be that GuyĒ.
Now that your bringing a Baby Girl into the world the beautifully
stirring story behind the song ďWhere
Angels Hang AroundĒ from
ManĒ I would
imagine it becomes even more profound for you to sing?
You hate to think of things in that perspective but Iíve seen so
many families have to cope with seeing their children have to
fight a battle that no human being should have to endure at any
expectant Parent naturally you have concerns for the health of
your child it certainly puts a new found fear into your soul.
Thereís no question the intensity of emotions will be
personified when we start playing it live again now that I know
Iím going to be a Dad. Iím still trying to grasp the idea of the
bond that AMY & I will share with this wonderful gift.
I would encourage anyone interested in helping out in anyway
possible to try & find a local St. Judeís Hospital Chapter. They
are truly one of the most incredible organizations out there.
They are not just trying to cure Cancer for Children itís through
that research that they can find a cure for
After some trying times with your first record ďDays
of Our LivesĒ
you surrounded yourself with folks who you know would have your
back for the making of the enormously successful ďSunset
ManĒ album; most notably
BIG & RICH your Muzik Mafia brethren & your Brother-in-Law
Have you tapped into those same
resources on the new material which will be released later this
Actually for this record Iíve gone in a completely different
direction, Iím producing the record myself along with Paul Worley.
Paul has been a huge part of my career from my first Record
deal at Mercury right up until now. As you put it heís a guy
thatís had my back from the very beginning; heís also someone
whose going to allow me to follow my creative process all the way
Iím almost like one of the Old-Timers here in Nashville; Iíve
always had a hand in producing my own demos over the past twelve
years. This time around Iím taking a swing at the whole thing,
the records just about done & weíre really excited about it.
For people that Loved
thereíll be some very familiar elements to these new songs. This
will truly be a Country Soul record, with a
ďJust Got Started
Loviní YouĒ Vibe
with a Soulful
kinda Groove to it.
Like you I grew up a Rock Ďní Roller never would
Iíve imagined myself not only listening to Country Music let alone
What really caught my attention
was the amazing songwriting going on, guys like yourself,
Eric Church, Jamey Johnson & Lee Brice.
The second thing that struck a
chord was the tight knit community in
none of that competitive bullshit, talk about what its like
being part of a group like the Muzik Mafia
Thatís certainly one of the things that I Love about it too,
having People like KENNY & JOHN and my Brother-in Law JAY treat
you as if your part of their family is truly a blessing.
The Guys you mentioned JAMEY & ERIC along with a number of
other songwriters Iíve had the pleasure of being around are making
It those relationships that really challenge you to make the
best Album you can possibly make. There are some amazing
songwriters out there and you want to keep up that pace thereís no
room for slackers, that challenge brings such a positive energy
when trying to stay creatively focused.
Iím hoping this new material rates right up there, thereís
lots of things on this Record that Iím extremely proud & excited
is a feel good fun song; another song I just finished writing not
too long ago with a good friend of mine Chris Wallin is one of the
greatest songs Iíve ever been a part of called
ďSoldiers & JesusĒ.
Itís not just a salute to our Military & their sacrifices; itís
also a salute to God.
I never wanted to be one dimensional I want to stretch myself
out I want to honor all the aspects of my musical influences, I
guess you could classify me as a Music Schizophrenic that way.
You want to have feel good fun things & stuff you can party
to on a Album but you also want people to think & reflect, your
gonna get that & then some on this new Record.
That leads to my next question about your musical Journey to
becoming Country Musicís Soul Man.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed in
your liner notes from the ďSunset
Album that NIKKI SIXX of
MOTLEY CRUE co-wrote the lead track
ďAinít Gonna StopĒ.
How did that unusual Musical
collaboration come about?
That particular song was brought to the sessions by JOHN RICH; He
& NIKKI came up with that groove at a songwriters retreat.
The funny thing in talkiní about NIKKI SIXX if you go back &
listen to the CRUE Records he was the principal songwriter on most
of those hit songs. There all extremely well written whether
there an in your face Rock Anthem or takiní a stab at the gritty
side of life heís always been an excellent songwriter.
The way Iíve always approached the Music that I write or listen
to is that a good songwriter is a good songwriter no matter what
I wanted to touch on your live set last Yearís show at
really had great flow both within your talented Band and
throughout the packed house.
I particularly enjoyed your rendition of BOB SEGERíS ďNight
tell us that song made its way into your set?
Thanks we really try to shake
things up in every aspect of our live performances. Yeah ďNight
MovesĒ is a great song Iíve had
that in my set for years; Iíll have to think about taking it out
soon, Iíve been playing it so long it almost feels like one of
A question I like to pose to my Hard Country friends; when it
comes time to be part of the Crossroads Concert Series on CMT
who would you like to share songs with?
Man that is a great question, there are so many amazing Artists
out there that I would be honored to do that with. Iím not sure
if SEGER has done one yet heís one of my biggest musical Heroís.
Just thinking of people Iíd Love to get up and play even one
song with would be CLAPTON or SPRINGSTEEN.
I do hope to be able to be part of something special like
that in the near future.
The sizzling new single ďGroovy
Little Summer SongĒ has been
climbing the charts, what can you tell us about a release date for
the new Album and maybe give me a scoop on the Title?
You know Ross I wish I could give you a scoop on that but I donít
have a title as of yet. I will tell you that there are some days
Iíve been leaning toward a self-titled release; kind of a
declaration of were Iím at with these new songs.
Like I said my mind changes everyday, until they tell me they need
an answer in stone Iím going to keep my options open. Honestly
Iím still turning in songs that might make this record, one thing
Iíve learned as a songwriter is that the best song can come at the
Iíll give you a perfect example, I wrote the song
about a month after I turned in the
Album; Iím writing so many songs these days that the next special
song might just come along the day the Record Company calls for
the finished product.
At this stage of my career Iím more of a ďMy Best Song is my
Next Song kinda PersonĒ.
I believe with every song I write I become better at my
craft; you live life and hopefully learn a little more each day &
you certainly have more to say as you get older.
You mentioned ďIn ColorĒ
with all the accolades that song &
brought you, talk about the expectations that success puts on this
Awards are great itís a cool thing to experience but ultimately
thatís not in your control. As a writer Iíve already moved on
from that and focusing on making the best Record I can make at
this time in my life.
Itís impossible to have perspective on any Album until its done &
you have hindsight to look back at it; I look at each Record as a
separate body of work.
Folks are still buzziní about your WYRK Acoustic Appearance
a few months back at the University of Buffalo Center for the
Your Meet & Greet lines have
become that of legend tell us about how important that personal
connection is with your fans?
Buffalo has really become one of my
favorite places to come & Play I canít tell you how much the
support means to us.
The way the people treat me up there is just amazing & I Love to
reciprocate that every chance I get invited to Play.
The relationship between an Artist & his fans is a special
thing that I take to Heart; I enjoy coming up to perform in front
of a hard working City like Buffalo who truly appreciate the
While your songwriting ability is unquestionable; fans havenít
truly been to the OTTO
until theyíve witnessed a live
Are there any plans for a Concert DVD to hold fans over in between
Why Thank You for those kind words; as it stands right now we
donít have any plans for Recording a show; right now the focus is
on getting these new songs out to the fans.
Itís an expensive undertaking and itís not something that I would
be willing to cut corners on just to get it out there.
I definitely get where you coming from there is nothing quite
like a live performance & capturing that on film would be a really
Word just came down this past week that youíve been invited on the
Road this summer by TOBY KEITH; which will include a stop
at Darien Lake in Late August, tell us about what being part of
that tour means to you?
This opportunity gives me a chance to come out & Play for fans on
a different level. Let me make this clear a Club Date & an Arena
date are as different as Night & Day.
When going out on an opening slot with such Greats as TOBY &
TRACE it gives me the opportunity to learn what it takes to put on
that type of production & connect with fans who may not otherwise
know what Iím all about. Iím only going to be on stage for
twenty-eight minutes at those shows & my job is to get that crowd
riled & ready for TOBY & TRACE, because I respect them Iím taking
that job very seriously.
My CLUB show like youíll see in
Friday is where youíll get the most of me because I have the time
to take myself & everyone else in the house through the entire
range of emotions that my songs evoke.
I hope to see all those familiar faces on Friday Night were
all stoked & ready to kick some Ass.
I know youíre a Car & Motorcycle enthusiast whatís your favorite
Bike to jump on when you get off the road from a long tour?
This is a great story, I could never afford a Harley before
ďJust Got Started Loviní YouĒ
took off. A few years back my Wife surprised me with a beautiful
2008 Road Glide for our Anniversary.
In fact we were at a Steak House for Dinner celebrating when
I walked over to talk to a friend at another table. While I was
away she called my bud Ricky Kelly who owns Harley Davidson of
Columbia in Tennessee & told him if you can have that Road Glide
delivered to the tour bus by midnight Iíll take it, sure enough
there it was.
I built a trailer to take it on the road with me not too long
after that; I think I put 6000 miles on it last year.
Riding is my getaway it really gives you an unparalleled
sense of Mental & Physical Freedom.
Rapport would like to Thank
for his valuable time along with Megan Wilson & Dan
Anderson of Redlight
Management for hooking us
to click on to
for all that is revviní in the
for the Show are available at Tickets.com, All Tops
Locations as well as
Tickets are also available 24/7 at
the McKinley Hotel Lobby.
Doors open at 7pm, Support
Acts for the show will be Underground Stampede & Black
*****************PEACE & HARMONIES**********************