Exactly how many musicians can start out their story with, “I left home as a teenager and became a professional gambler.”? There really is only one…. Darryl Purpose.
Before Darryl started touring, during a period of playing open mics and showcases around L.A., he found himself in a tough situation. “I cashed a couple of checks for a ‘friend’ that I owed a favor to, and ended up getting arrested for laundering drug money. I didn’t have great boundaries with the law in those days.” He was facing eighteen years mandatory sentence (he would have been getting out about now) until the prosecutors figured out that he wasn’t a big time criminal, and reduced the charge. They sentenced him to three months in a halfway house. During the intake meeting there, they told Darryl that this was a work-release program, and that he could go home during the day if he had a job. Thinking quickly, he told them he was a national touring singer-songwriter, and he would have to go home during the day and work on his career. So he did, and in that three month period he found himself a record label, and a booking agent, and started touring nationally. He was now a professional songwriter and musician. “That brush with the criminal justice system lead to my career”.
Starting in 1996, Darryl clocked in thousands of miles, playing for tips, sleeping in his truck and basically getting his music out there any way he could. By 2004 and about 1500+ shows later, he had played many of the top venues in North America and Europe and had released 6 albums that all did well on folk radio. Then in 2004, “I won a couple million dollars within a few months and bought a house in my favorite place in the world – Nederland, Colorado, where I still live.” He said, rather casually. That winning year changed his life in many ways including being able to concentrate more on his music.
Darryl likes to say that luck is a residue of design — and he has been crafting his own luck for some time now, out of whatever wreckage has come his way. Though he always wanted to be small, the universe gave him acromegaly, a disease of excess growth hormone. So he went big, and lived his life for the story.
DARRYL PURPOSE’s “STILL THE BIRDS” takes flight this spring.
“Darryl Purpose’s music hits all the vital areas; the heart, the mind and the gut.” (Michael Tisserand/Gambit Weekly)
Next Time Around bio 2013:
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.