On Saturday, musician Darryl Purpose performed a CD release concert at Dosey Doe Music Café in Conroe, Texas. It was the first time Purpose played the Café, and the audience was not nearly as large as it should have been for such a talented singer/songwriter. From his opening song, “Dreams of Life,” through his ending standards, “Mr. Schwinn “ and “Singer-Songwriter Heaven,” Purpose kept the crowd spellbound with his poignant and well-crafted lyrics sung over captivating melodies. A few of the numbers were familiar to any long-time fan in the audience, while most were from his latest CD, “Next Time Around.”
“I’ve taken some time off the tour circuit recently,” Purpose told the audience, “and this is the first compilation I’ve done in about nine years.” Listeners will find it worth the wait. Purpose started to tour nationally as a solo singer/songwriter in the mid 1990s. About ten years later, he set aside touring for a sabbatical in the Rocky Mountains and has only recently begun to tour again. The title track of his new album was inspired by the Carousel of Happiness located in Nederland, Colorado.
At the Café, Purpose was accompanied by two talented musicians, Julie Beaver on violin and Dirje Smith on cello. Beaver’s violin (or fiddle, of course, since it was in Texas) highlighted the songs perfectly, and she wowed the crowd with her solos. Smith’s bass notes wove flawlessly into the fabric of the tunes. On “The Ghost of Crazy Horse,” Beaver brought the soaring essence of Native American music to the arrangement while Smith created the thumping drumbeat of a spirit chant on her cello.
“This song isn’t actually about Crazy Horse,” Purpose explained. “It’s about anyone who’s fighting something…or fighting for something.” The songs he performed on Saturday covered the spectrum from songs about fighting for causes to ones taken from his own personal stories.
Dosey Doe Music Café was a fitting venue for Purpose’s relaxed style. Dosey Doe Coffee Shop has been offering choice music in The Big Barn for years. The Music Café opened more recently, and it provides an intimate listening room with tables placed all the way to the front, touching the stage. Signed guitars are framed on one wall, and patrons who glance upward see a mixture of media from doors to flags hanging from the ceiling. The Music Café offers signature coffee drinks familiar from its Dosey Doe Coffee Shop legacy, supplemented by a full menu of both usual and unusual fare.
Catch Darryl Purpose on his next time around your area as he continues his 2013 tour.