Exactly how many musicians can start out their story with, “I ran away from home as a teenager and became a professional gambler.”?
There really is only one who can do this…. Darryl Purpose.
That decision eventually got him into the Blackjack Hall of Fame (yes there is one and only 19 inductees). But it also became an internationally recognized singer and songwriter, racking up thousands of miles for the sake of his music and recording seven albums. His newest recording is entitled “Still the Birds”.
The new recording boasts eleven songs, all co-written by Darryl and Paul Zollo and produce by Billy Crockett at Blue Rock Studios in Wimberley, Texas. The band included: Roscoe Beck (Leonard Cohen); Eric Darken (Dixie Chicks, Jimmy Buffet), Joel Guzman (Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Waits) and Daran DeShazo (Darryl’s favorite guitar player). The featured guest vocalist on the song “The Meaning of My Love” is folk icon Eliza Gilkyson.
Among the other points of interest in the Darryl Purpose story includes playing with Santana and Bonnie Raitt at the first ever outdoor stadium concert in the former Soviet Union, and co-founding The Second Strings Project, an organization that has delivered over 20,000 sets of strings to musicians around the world. In addition Darryl points out, “I’ve been chased around Moscow by the Russian mafia, threatened in Seoul by the Yakuza, and walked across the United States for peace”.
How did all of this start? Talk about backing into a career. Darryl found himself in a tough situation after cashing a couple of checks for a friend, “I didn’t have great boundaries in those days,” Darryl said. “I cashed a couple of checks and refused to cash anymore, but still got arrested for laundering drug money.” After the authorities had figured out they hadn’t corralled a big-time drug figure, they put him in a half-way house for three months but then there was an interesting twist. It turns out they had a work program so, based on the fact Darryl was a “national touring musician”, at least that’s what he told them, with a live CD he had recorded in people’s homes around L.A. to prove it, he got out during the day. “I thought at this point I might as well live up to my word.” In the three month time he got himself a record deal and 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 CD’s 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.” Said, rather casually, that winning year changed his life in many ways.
“Still the Birds” is Darryl’s 7th recording and it hit #1 on the Roots Music Report folk chart for national radio airplay. That’s the second time he has achieved that honor. His last recording, Next Time Around spent five weeks at #1.