by Jody Mason
James Otto startled listeners with the release of his second record, “Sunset Man” in April, 2008. He caught our attention with the sexy “Just Got Started Lovin’ You”, his first hit single, and his album begins as he lets loose but doesn’t let go.
The first track, “Ain’t Gonna Stop,” is slightly reminiscent of “Sweet Home Alabama” with more raw attitude, perhaps the influence of previously touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd. But then Otto switches gears momentarily for a soulful sound on “For You” and “These Are the Good Ole Days,” both of which carry undertones of John Mayer’s affecting style.
In light of his influences, Otto maintains his personal technique to the extent that the listener cannot detect the presence of Otto’s brother-in-law, Jay DeMarcus (Rascal Flatts), as a producer and co-writer. After spending the better part of a decade writing songs in Nashville, it is clear that Otto is already warmed up and ready to go.