INTERVIEW: Darryl Purpose

Hi Darryl, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks, life is good and full! 

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Prince of the Apple Towns”?

‘Prince’ is a tribute to the great poet, Dylan Thomas. (Bob Dylan, in tribute and inspiration, took his name) His famous last words were said to be, “That’s eighteen whiskeys, I think that’s a record”. This song is about his younger, happier days, when he called himself the ‘Prince of the Apple Towns’

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Every song on this record is a co-write with the great Paul Zollo. Whereas in the song Baltimore, Paul borrowed a few phrases from Edgar Allan Poe’s writing, in Prince, he took most of these lyrics from the famous DT poem, “Fern Hill” 

Can you tell us more about the upcoming video?

It is done and I can give you a peek –

Ultimately it will be up on my You Tube channel, and you can find it there. We licensed some of the best DT photos from the Dylan Thomas society. We got some new footage of some of the key geographical locations in the song – Swansea, the Mumbles, and the White Horse Tavern where he died.

The single comes off your new album Still The Birds – what’s the story behind the title? Is it inspired on the album’s track, “The Birds”?

Yes that’s correct. Dodee Crockett had a lot to do with that title. Among other things, she pointed out that the album has two themes: heartache/sin/death  and redemption; and that the word STILL has two meanings:  still as in QUIET  and still as in ALWAYS.


Birds stop singing during an earthquake or a a solar eclipse.  Both of those were always thought of as portents of disfavor with the Gods.  It meant that humans had done something wrong.  Think Shiloh.

The song Baltimore is about the death of Edgar Allan Poe, who is most connected with the raven saying “Nevermore.” 

In the song Evergreen, the sounds of the music of the people that were killed in senseless gang violence are now silent.

Everywhere at Once (Love Is)
When Buddha Smiled at the Elephant (still)
The Nearness of You — Red Garland is still singing…
Still the Birds  —  and hope gets the last word.

How was the recording and writing process?

Writing was a treat. Paul Zollo and I have developed a lot of trust. We wrote these songs over the course of a year, mostly he wrote the lyric, sent it to me, and I finished it with music. But there was a lot of back and forth in there. Check out Paul’s book ‘Songwriters on Songwriting’ where he goes deep with Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and many others about our favorite subject.

How much did Billy get to influence the album?

Billy influenced the album a great deal. That’s what he does, he makes albums sound great. 

You also brought some musicians – were they randomly chosen or did you handpick them?
Billy Crockett picked the musicians. Austin’s best, all of them. I was especially honored to have Eliza Gilkyson join me for a duet on “The Meaning Of My Love”

What humans conditions get to inspire the songs and lyrics on this album?

Both Paul and I have a lot of empathy with people ‘for whom the night is long’ as my friend Christine Kane says. I think this CD, though it goes to some dark places, we never forget that everyone is worthy, and everyone has a story to tell.

How has your kaleidoscope life have influence yourself as an artist?

Some of the gambling ideas that have crossed over into music include; making your own luck, doing the math, riding the swings out without getting too high or too low. Also, I am able to move through any stage jitters because I have been performing all my life in the casino. In the casino, we do sophisticated physical and mental tasks, as many men in suits and cameras from every angle try to figure out if we are a threat. They are trying to figure out if we are doing exactly what we are doing! In particular, some of the heat I’ve received in foreign casinos – Korea, Russia, Turkey, Aruba, Sri Lanka – dwarf whatever pressure there might be to play a song for people.

Any plans to hit the road?

I will be supporting this record. Santa Monica, McCabe’s May 15th; Colorado CD release show May 7th in Morrison. 

What else is happening next in Darryl Purpose’s world?

I have a new relationship with my daughter that I am excited about. I’m always trying to find an excuse to stay home in Nederland Colorado – my favorite place in the world. (There is never enough time!) Then there is the secret game, which I would tell you about, but it’s a secret. 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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