Friday, April 19
9:30 pm
Paul Durham – Late Show
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About the event

ALT-ROCK JUGGERNAUT PAUL DURHAM REEMERGES, DROPS FIRST ALBUM IN 7 YEARS

Paul Durham, the founder and frontman of West Coast-based Black Lab, has returned to the studio for the first time in 7 years. The album, This Sweet Life, is a reflective, acoustic-based album from a man whose visual lyrics, distorted guitars, and moody videos helped shape the West Coast post-grunge scene in the 1990s.

Durham co-founded Black Lab, a name that’s an amalgam of Black Sabbath and Stereolab, and quickly signed to Geffen Records, becoming apt labelmates with Nirvana, Counting Crows, Sonic Youth, and other acclaimed artists. Black Lab’s first Geffen release spawned two hits on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart with sales of 120,000 copies. To date, Black Lab and Durham’s other projects have combined to surpass 20 million streams and garner 65,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.

In the late-1990s and beyond, film and television producers found Paul’s refined alternative sound to be perfect for many mainstream projects, including the megamovie Spider-Man, as well as TV’s House MD, Banshee, The Shield, Pretty Little Liars, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer among others.

After the 2016 release of Black Lab’s most recent studio album, A New World, Paul tapped out of the music scene despite the record being critically well received. While recovering from the sudden death of his then-girlfriend, Durham returned to his musical roots and found himself transposing his grief into intense, acoustic-based songs.

“I was stuck,” Durham says. “When I did finally begin to process that loss through songwriting, it was so intimate and so personal that I thought I would never be able to get it recorded. I knew I couldn’t put it out, but I also knew I had to.”

The result is Durham’s first solo album This Sweet Life (2023), an LP that represents an evolution in his creative output. He strips down songs of love and loss to their steel- string essence, and infuses others with bluesy swagger. The record lays bare Durham’s jagged introspection, making This Sweet Life as reflective as it is rewarding; a record born from a master songwriter whose talents edge him increasingly closer to the sublime.

This year, Durham will perform in the US and Europe, playing the Hotel Café in Los Angeles on February 23 and Live from the Divide on May 4 in his hometown of Bozeman, Montana.

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