A Review of the Darryl Purpose CD
"Live at Coalesce"

"Live at Coalesce"
by Darryl Purpose, with Julie Beaver

Copyright 2006

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 5/06
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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If "Gong Show" host Chuck Barris was able to get his autobiography, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," filmed by George Clooney, then imagine what an innovative director could do with the life story of Darryl Purpose.

The various sections on Purpose's resume include episodes as a professional gambler, an anti-nuclear activist and participant in the 1986 Great Peace March for Global Disarmament, a charity founder, of course, a musician, and probably a few roles he has not shared or yet to inhabit. Is that Quentin Tarantino on line one?

For Purposes' latest release, two types of media are available--both a CD amd a DVD recording of him and violinist/singer Julie Beaver in concert at the Coalesce venue in Morro Bay, CA. It is a 'Best Of' offering, combining cuts from Purpose's previous releases with a new song and a Dave Carter cover.

The latter song, "Red," first appeared on Carter's initial release, "Snake Handlin' Man," and as Purpose says, it's the creepiest entry in the repertoire of the genius singer-songwriter who died in 2002. Carter's former partner, Tracy Grammer, apparently also has a version of "Red" coming out sometime this summer.

The newest Purpose song, "We Become The Stories That We Tell," is an engaging one. Sung by Beaver and portraying the times we currently live in, Purpose frames the choices we have in either drawing the world closer together or in building lines of demarcation. He takes particular umbrage at the political fabulists who, for nefarious purposes, create the public alternative universe they need to influence others.

"Late For Dinner," also sung by Beaver, ranks right up there with John Prine's "Sam Stone" as one of the best Vietnam War song ever. The ambivalent woman character in the song perfectly illustrates the divide in our country during that turbulent time.

"Singer/Songwriter Heaven" sadly contains a new name, Dave Carter, but it's a classic tour involving so many of the musical talents who departed this earth far too soon. Mentioning Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, Graham Parsons, Kate Wolf, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Goodman, Nick Drake and Stan Rogers, Purpose cleverly situates them all on cloud nine and, in particular, on writer's block.

"Mr. Schwinn" is and always will be a tear-inducer, effective as Purpose slowly builds to the unrequited, somber finish. Originally recorded with Lucy Kaplansky, Purpose and Beaver do a touching job this time on the marriage ceremony fave "Ring On My Hand." "The Fourth Chair" compares the good times to be had with friends but lamentshow they can't quite replace the absence of a loved one.

"Dangerous Game" depicts some of the precarious positions Purpose has encountered through his many 'lives."

Beaver, a heretofore unknown, displays remarkable talent both with the violin and a very fine singing voice.

To the uninitiated, this will be an exceptional introduction to the artistry of Darryl Purpose while also serving as a handy collection for those already familiar with the man and his music. So which to purchase, the CD or DVD? More than likely that depends on whether one is visually or aurally dominant. But for those already a member of the Purpose flock, the DVD provides the unique offering of sound and picture.

Track List:

All songs by Darryl Purpose, unless otherwise noted.

Ownership, copyright and title of this folk music CD review belongs to me, Kevin McCarthy. Ownership, copyright and title are not transferable or assignable to you or other parties regardless of how or if you or other parties use, copy, save, backup, store, retrieve, transmit, display, publish, modify or share the CD review in whole or in part. Please read the "Terms, Conditions and Disclaimer" section on my web site for additional information about using, quoting, or reprinting this CD review.

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