The band also recorded several albums during that time. By the late 1980s, deLay was suffering from alcohol and cocaine addiction. In 1990, he was arrested for drug trafficking, and served a 41-month prison sentence. He performed in Prison in Walla Walla with Michael Morey of Seattle's Alleged Perpetrators on bass. While he was incarcerated, his band continued without him, performing as the "No deLay Band" and featuring longtime Portland blueswoman Linda Hornbuckle as lead vocalist in lieu of deLay.
Upon his release from prison, deLay (now clean and sober) rejoined the band and recorded a series of critically acclaimed albums. In 2002 deLay assembled the final version of his band, with David Vest sharing lead vocals and playing piano, Peter Dammann on guitar, and Jeff Minnick and Dave Kahl on drums and bass. A live CD featuring this lineup was released in 2007, entering the Top Ten on Billboard's national blues chart. Paul deLay continued touring and recording until his final illness. In March 2007, after returning to Portland from a gig in Klamath Falls, Oregon, deLay felt ill and sought medical treatment. It was discovered that he was suffering from end-stage leukemia; he soon lapsed into a coma from which he would not recover.
He died in Portland on March 7, 2007, aged 55. Memorial concerts in Portland and Seattle attracted large audiences. An outgrowth of these memorial concerts is an annual event, a benefit for an scholarship at Ethos, a non-profit, Portland-based music education program, in Paul's name. This is a fitting tribute, since, in the last couple of years of his life, deLay embraced the notion of teaching as being the greatest legacy one could give. Official Website: Paul deLay Band. Paul deLay can also be seen on Last.fm as Paul deLay Band and / or The Paul deLay Band.
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