In this installment of Art of the Song, American singer/songwriter Darryl Purpose is the featured artist.
About the musician:
Darryl Purpose is an American singer-songwriter, known for his narrative (often very personal) lyrics and fingerstyle guitar. Before becoming a professional musician, Purpose was a professional blackjack player and was known as one of the best in the world. In 2010 Purpose was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. “Purpose has the voice of James Taylor, the brains of Bob Dylan, and the soul of Willie Nelson“.
In 1986, Purpose walked across the USA with The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament and then a year later in the former Soviet Union. In 1996, he became a “full-time time national touring singer-songwriter” who “hit the folk scene…with an unusually eclectic resume that provided him with a wealth of compelling stories to tell.” As of December 2011, Purpose has returned to touring full-time, returning from an unexplained 7 year hiatus.
When Darryl Purpose was 16 years old, his mother put a book called “Beat the Dealer” in his Christmas stocking. He went to Las Vegas as a teenager and began a career as professional card player – and still calls this the “only real job I’ve ever had.” Years later, he took time off to walk across the country for peace, and fell in with a bad crowd – musicians & peaceniks. In 1996, inspired by his work with a traveling band of musical activists, Darryl began to tour nationally as a solo singer-songwriter. Eight years, six CDs and a thousand-plus shows later, he was headlining venues like the Freight and Salvage, Club Passim, McCabe’s, The Bluebird Cafe, The Kennedy Center, and the Kerrville Folk Festival Main Stage.
In 2005, he inexplicably set down his guitar and took a 7-year sabbatical in the Rocky Mountains. During this time, he shepherded the release of “Singer-Songwriter Heaven: the songs of Kevin Faherty.” He also continued to co-captain the Second Strings Project, which is responsible for delivering over twenty thousand sets of guitar strings to those who need them all around the world. In 2009, he was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame, one of 17 members, including Ed Thorp, the man who wrote that book that his mother put into his Christmas stocking at 16. He says that he also “got healthy, in multiple ways.”
After 7 years away from the singer- songwriter scene, Darryl Purpose is back to making music, with a new energy and a new flair for connecting with audiences. 2012 saw Darryl record his first CD of original material in 10 years – “Next Time Around,” produced by Billy Crockett for the Blue Rock Artists label. With no formal radio promotion, the CD spent five weeks at #1 on the Roots Music Report folk chart for national radio airplay in March & April 2013.
Live performance is his strength as he connects his audience to his songs with a storyteller’s heart.