Darryl Purpose paints a compelling portrait of his adventurous, miraculous (and sometimes dangerous) life with stories and songs that grab his audiences by the heart. ” - Robin Pressman

— (KRSH Sunday Muse)

Darryl's Bio

Darryl Purpose really likes a good story and as such he has leaned into them whenever they come near. 

As a teenager, Darryl hitchhiked to Las Vegas where he began a career as a professional blackjack player; he has been called the best (and fastest) card counter. He was Inducted into the Blackjack Hall Of Fame in 2010. 
⁠ 
In his twenties, Darryl walked from Los Angeles to Washington DC for peace and continued on to walk in the then Soviet Union. He began performing music on the marches which included participating in the first ever outdoor stadium concert in the history of Russia, produced by Bill Graham, featuring Santana, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt and others. 
⁠ 
In his thirties, Darryl began his current vocation as a performing songwriter. He has released 8 albums of original music. The last two, Still The Birds and Next Time Around, spent weeks at #1 for AirPlay on Roots Music Report. 
⁠ 
Darryl is inspired by the love of friends, the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, and the beauty of trees, water and land - especially mountains.

Sample Track

Press Photos

Press Quotes

"High class storytelling from unsung hero of US counter culture. Not for long. Purpose is one the key new chroniclers of modern America."
- Rob Beatie, Q Magazine 

"'A Crooked Line' reveals Darryl Purpose as one of the truly under-recognized singer songwriters on the contemporary scene."
- Rich Warren, Sing Out! 

"Darryl Purpose once made his living as a professional Blackjack gambler, and like all gamblers, he knows how to tell a good tale. That, plus his sharp eye for detail, his instinctive feel for hard-living, unsentimentalizes characters, and his battle-hardened, but ultimately optimistic view of the world makes "A Crooked Line" one of the best recent collections of contemporary story songs."
- Dirty Linen 

"The ten songs flow into each other like a colorful short-story cycle. Pupose's vocals, intimate and honey-smooth - are self assured. And his songwriting continues to mature. Echoes of one of his chief influences, Paul Simon, reverberate from track to track."
- The Journal News 

"A splendid sampler of his diverse, engaging song craft."
- Drew Wheeler, CDNOW 

"Darryl Purpose picks up where he left off with the album 'Travelers Code' with impassioned story-telling that only one that actually lived the story could tell."
- MuzikMan, Music Dish 

"Much has been written about Purpose's transition from notorious blackjack player to itinerant folk singer. But what's more important about Purpose's art is his rare dedication to story-telling in song. His new CD, 'A Crooked Line', is his most narrative yet, and with Ellis Paul, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer among the guests, it might be his most attractive."
- Daniel Gewertz, Boston Herald 

"The devil is in the details and Purpose has 'em in spades."
- Blythe Christopher, High Bias 

"Purpose displays a knack for subtle twists that add depth to ordinary imagery. The heart-wrenching "Bryant St", (written with Ellis Paul, featuring the Turtle Island String Quartet) is alone worth the price of admission here. Purpose is a savvy story-teller who never slips too far toward the sentimental or the cynical."
- David Todoran, Whatzup 

"Purpose's music and style of songwriting, taking in country, blues and folk - hints of Slaid Cleaves ('Late For Dinner'), Buddy Mondlock ('Bryant St') and others. And there's exquisite guitar work too...a man who not only carefully crafts his lyrics, but his guitar playing. I implore you to go check him out."
- Al Moir, Country Music People 

"With a delicately soft cracked slightly nasal voice (think James Taylor crossbred with John Prine) that belies his bearded bulk, the fourth album since the former professional blackjack player and peace activist traded gambling and protests for the troubadour circuit back in '96 further confirms his status as a singer songwriter in the great storytelling tradition of Harry Chapin and Mickey Newbury."
- Mike Davies,  NetRhythms.co.uk 

"Great albums are few and far between these days, but Darryl Purpose has come close with this, his latest effort. With this album Purpose shows off his skills left and right, dazzling the listener. Not many albums can beat this masterpiece."
- Nick Powills, Folkwax

"Still the Birds" Reviews & Info

M Magazine Interview at M Music Magazine 

Prince Of The Apple Towns video on You Tube 

“Yes, Darryl Purpose sounds like James Taylor. And, yes, he has an amazing backstory...These songs are so good they eclipse all that. Purpose has a rare flair for writing memorable mellifluous melodies, and on 'Still the Birds' he pairs them with marvelous lyrics by Paul Zollo, who has written a rhyming dictionary and shows it by pairing 'Halloween' with 'gabardine.' Purpose's folksy tunes enchant thanks to their surprising twists, such as the octave-and-a-half leap in the chorus of 'When Buddha Smiled at the Elephant.' Elsewhere he sings about gangs, devotion, Dylan Thomas, and wars today and two centuries ago. Keep this up, and someday folks will say James Taylor sounds like Darryl Purpose." 
- Steve Wine, Associated Press  (read the whole review in The Washington Post, ABC News, Yahoo News, The Daily Mail

"This is absolutely superb work from one of a kind. " 
- Jim Hynes, Elmore Magazine    (read whole review here

"His duet with Eliza Gilkyson, 'The Meaning of My Love,' ...shares subtle similarities with the John Prine & Iris DeMent's duet 'In Spite of Ourselves,' more softly played and articulated emotionally by Darryl and Eliza..." 
-Chris Kresge, Colorado Sound   (read whole review here

"Whoosh! It sweeps you right up. Big guy. Big heart. Big songs. Thank you Darryl Purpose and Paul Zollo for some beautiful art." 
-Marilyn Rae Beyer, Midnight Special WFMT 

"'Still The Birds' makes me think of 'Rickie Lee Jones’ Pirates and Magazine, confessional, ambitious albums which endure long after their release date." 
-Fervor Coulee, Roots Music Opinion  (read whole review here

"Fascinating, ingratiating, controversial, interesting, deep and somewhat off-center..." 
    ~ Soundwaves 

"All 11 of the songs here, written by Purpose and his partner Paul Zollo, are intriguing, the words filled with brilliant imagery while Purpose's laid-back, warm vocal style imbues  the whole album with an underlying sense of deep compassion for the human condition. Get this album and listen with care. If you like lyrics that demand attention and that will make you think, Purpose is going to  make you very happy." 
-Rhetta, Making a Scene  (read the full review here

"Modern masterpiece...lyrically astute, properly melodic and beautifully/soulfully sung...He sounds like James Taylor but co-writes with Paul Zollo like Paul Simon or Leonard Cohen...state-of-the-art Americana....Darryl Purpose is the Elton John to Paul Zollo's Bernie Taupin. He takes Zollo's words and makes them come alive with purpose, integrity and the kind of melodies that stick to your brain like a tattoo. My only question is: why isn't guy more famous than he is?" 
- Mike Greenblatt, Blogarrhea 

"Way too accomplished an album for the indie world, if this roustabout can wrangle and corral the audience this set deserves, fireworks will ensue. Well done." 
-Midwest Record blog  (read the whole review here

“…there’s no end to the superior songs and equally adept performances, a combined bounty that’s more than capable of taking Purpose out of the shadows and soaring like those birds he name-checks in the title.” 
-Lee Zimmerman, No Depression  (read the whole review here)

Sample Video

Inquiries