"...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..."” - Lee Zimmerman

No Depression

Darryl's Bio

A master of the ‘narrative’ folk tradition, Purpose has earned a reputation as a top-shelf songwriter and performer with a keen eye for detail and an uncanny knack for subtle twists that engage his listeners through his unusual, beautiful melodies and personal stories. 

Purpose’s love for telling stories is almost as compelling as the life he’s made for himself. As a teenager, he hitchhiked to Las Vegas and began a legendary career playing blackjack. A few years later he joined a “March for Peace” that began in Los Angeles and walked across the country to Washington, DC. He then continued on to walk in the then Soviet Union. He began performing music on the marches, including participating in the first ever outdoor stadium concert in Russian history, produced by the legendary Bill Graham and featuring Santana, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt and others. 

In his thirties, Purpose began his current vocation as a performing songwriter. He has released 8+ albums of original material. The previous two, Still The Birds and Next Time Around, spent weeks at #1 for airplay on Roots Music Report. His 2021 single release, Dave Carter's Gentle Arms Of Eden, was the #1 played song in the world on the FolkDJ list for July 2021.

Purpose is inspired by his daughter Kari, the love of friends, and the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, and the beauty of trees, water and land.

Sample Track

Sample Videos

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