Darryl Purpose,
A Crooked Line
(Tangible, 2001)

Darryl Purpose is a man with a purpose (I know, terrible pun) and that is to tell stories. This album is a treasure trove of song-stories from a man with a formidable past. According to his biography notes he was a professional gambler and a peace marcher in the past before his performing career began. While performing he found the stories he told being absorbed into his songs and we now benefit from this happening.

My favourite track is "Late For Dinner." This is, and I am open to correction, a sad but very true tale of Vietnam veteran and how his life, love and mind were affected by the war. "There Ought to Be a Highway" is a very interesting song construction. It consists of a person riding across the prairie but with thoughts of a highway and 18-wheelers which will eventually replace the horse.

You can almost feel the hot dry sun in an urban jungle when you listen to "Koreatown." This is a tale some of the sadder aspects of modern life. There is crime, killing and despair. It's not a sing-along tune but it has an important story to tell.

The only song on the album not written or co-written by Darryl is "The River Where She Sleeps," which is by Dave Carter. This is perhaps the lightest track on the CD. He dedicates "I Can Get There from Here" to the people of the Great Peace March in 1986. It sounds a rather sad and sombre track but the message is one of hope and encouragement, which bears repeating when people wonder, "what can I do about it?"

Darryl Purpose has a pleasant voice and writes some thought-provoking songs. The album is not a barrel of laughs but it is enjoyable if you like songs which something real to say.

The song words are reproduced on the inlay but can prove distracting by the layout -- a small quibble about a good album.

[ by Nicky Rossiter ]
Rambles: 10 November 2001

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