James Otto, Deana Carter + Billy Dean Join AIDS Walk
James Otto, Deana Carter and Billy Dean lent their talents to the California AIDS Walk fundraising festival at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre on Sunday, September 26. Comedian Wanda Skyes hosted the event which also included performances from Sheila E, Hanson, Shontelle and the Alan Parsons Project.
"Awareness is always important," Deana tells The Boot. "It's important to serve and lend a helping hand. I'm happy to be here and play with Billy and James, but anytime we can help the healing, that's the main thing."
Deana admits that the event also offers the perk of hanging out with other celebrities who are participating. "Shelia E. and I have been dancing together all day," she says with a laugh. "We've been in and out of each others dressing rooms. They'd move me in hers, her in mine, etc. She's a sweet wonderful girl and this is the first time we've met. I'm a big fan."
James, Deana and Billy took to the stage in a songwriter round, playing one song each. Billy introduced the trio and began the performance by reminding everyone, "You are never too small to do amazing things." He then played 'A Seed,' which is told from the perspective of a seedling. Deana, who Billy dubbed 'the most beautiful singer-songwriter ever' followed that with her 1996 hit 'Strawberry Wine,' which received a warm -- and loud -- welcome.
"It's an unbelievable honor and a goal in my life to play the Greek Theatre," James told attendees. He chose to sing 'In Color,' which he co-wrote with Jamey Johnson and Lee Thomas Miller. Before starting the final verse, James dedicated it to "anyone who has ever lost anyone that they loved."
If you're wondering why James decided to sing a song that he hasn't recorded, he's got the answer. "I figured since we were bringing a Nashville songwriters round to L.A. that 'In Color' was the best song," James told The Boot of the ACM-award-winning tune. "As far as songwriting is concerned, 'In Color' is a song I'm extremely proud of."
"Bringing country music to L.A. and seeing that people respect it is such a cool thing," the 'Just Got Started Lovin' You' singer continued. "That might come as a surprise to a lot of people. Last night, I was talking to folks on Twitter and they were saying, 'When you get to L.A., be careful.' It's a different scene, but people are pretty cool here. I don't ever get that weird vibe from anyone."
Some of those 'pretty cool' people who benefited from the event include the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the AIDS Service Center, the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation and the Magic Johnson Foundation.
James' second album 'Shake What God Gave Ya,' featuring 'Groovy Little Summer Song' was released September 14.