When Darryl Purpose was 16 years old, his mother put a book called “Beat the Dealer” in his Christmas stocking. He interrupted a guitar major program, went to Las Vegas as a teenager, began a career as professional card player, and was soon known as the world’s fastest card counter. Banned from casinos on six continents, he 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 – which culminated, improbably, in sharing the stage with the likes of Santana and Bonnie Raitt in the first stadium rock concert in the former Soviet Union.
In 1996, inspired by his work with a traveling band of musical activists and working his way out of a brush with the law (that’s another story), 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, took a 7-year sabbatical in the Rocky Mountains, and “got healthy in multiple ways”. During this time, he shepherded the release of “Singer-Songwriter Heaven: the songs of Kevin Faherty”; co-captained the Second Strings Project delivering over twenty thousand sets of guitar strings to those who need them all around the world; studied with Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh; and in 2009, 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).
The music called him back in 2012 and 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 2013. His critically-acclaimed latest release – “Still The Birds” (co-written with Paul Zollo, also produced by Billy Crockett) twists and turns songs as unique and diverse as the stories from Darryl’s kaleidoscopic life.
Darryl likes to say that luck is a residue of design — and he has been crafting his own luck for some time now. Live performance is a strength as he connects his audience to his songs with a storyteller’s heart.
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