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Ex-Idol James Durbin strikes out on independent path with new album

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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Although he'll forever be tagged as an "American Idol" contestant, James Durbin is out to be his own man now.

That's why the hard rock singer released his third album, "Riot On Sunset," on himself after putting out its predecessors via the national Wind-up label. It was funded via PledgeMusic, and with is wife Heidi managing him Durbin is enjoying the freedom and flexibility that comes with independence.

"Being independent is uncharted territory for us -- for me especially," Durbin, 27, says by phone from San Jose, where he resides. "Every day has been a new learning experience. We feel like we're just starting to poke our head out of the ground and just starting to bloom."

Durbin -- who finished fourth during American Idol's 10th season in 2011 (the year Scotty McCreary won) -- calls "Riot On Sunset" his "coming of age album," primarily because it's his first done solely on his own terms and serving his own vision.

"There's nobody else's input and influence but my own," Durbin says. "I'm picking the songs. It's me that I have to impress and me that I have to prove my goodness to. So pretty much everything is more in a classic rock element. That's pretty much what I feed off of. I put all the songs together in a certain way, so when you listen to it from start to finish you really understand it, but they each work on their own, too.

"It's really important to me that this album just shows people that I'm still me, and I still rock."

Durbin tried to show that on "American Idol" too this year. He returned as a guest for the grand finale episode, five years removed he has no regrets about being part of the "Idol" making machinery.

"It was really nice being asked back to perform and be up there with some of the people I watched on 'American Idol' and some of my personal friends," Durbin says. "It was nice to be able to be there and say goodbye to it and experience it with the chosen few that got to come back and see, really, the massive imprint that this conglomerate of 'America Idol's has imprinted on society and culture and media and everything.

It's really come a long way, and to see all the different people it affected and all the dreams that have dome true, it was really inspiring and encouraging. and reminded me how special it all was."

James Durbin, 7Horse and Crashing Cairo

Wednesday, July 27. Doors open at 7 p.m.

The Pike Room in the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac.

Tickets are $10-$40.

Call (248) 858-9333 or visit thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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