James Otto may be 100 percent country, but he’s also got a heart full of soul. On his third album, Shake What God Gave Ya, Nashville’s breakout star puts his God-given lung power to work on a set of songs that make even more determined use of the old-school R&B grit in his powerhouse voice. “I look at my sound as somewhere between Nashville and Memphis,” says Otto, setting the new record’s compass point firmly on the map.Although Shake What God Gave Ya marks the first time he’s explored the country-soul sound so devotedly on record, it won’t come as any shock to anyone who heard his earlier smash, “Just Got Started Loving You.” Which is a category that should cover just about every country fan, since that tune was declared the No. 1 country single of 2008 by Billboard. When it came time to craft a full-length follow-up, Otto took that ringing vote of confidence as license to lean more heavily on those influences this time around. In other words, he just got started being soulful.
Born: Jul 29, 1973