Same River Twice (1997)

by Darryl Purpose

Halfway Home 04:52
Halfway Home Well I first started hangin' with Laura Lee, when they took away her father We'd steal on down to the five and dime, where she was no man's daughter I took her favorite doll from the shelf cause I thought that she deserved it But the next time I passed by the store I saw that she'd returned it I'd look outside my window, stare across the street She'd wave back, kill the light, and settle off to sleep I'd feel the hole inside my heart, wish that we were grown And someday Laura Lee and me would be more than halfway home Years later she went off to college and I went to work at the racetrack And when that didn't pay the rent I taught myself to play Blackjack I'd drive up to her dormitory and I'd clean those frat boys out I'd show her all the money I had won, but I could see she had her doubts She'd look outside her window, stare across the street I'd wave back, she'd kill the light and settle off to sleep I'd feel the hole inside my heart and wish that we were't grown And often times I'd cry til I was more than halfway home But when Laura Lee was accepted, down at the police academy I took my luck to the isle of St Martin, by way of Atlantic City By the time I'd left, inside my boots I had hidden half a mil' But if the hired goons don't getcha darlin, you know US customs will I'd wish I had a window so I could stare across the street And wish the guards would kill the light, so I could get some sleep I'd feel the hole inside my heart, wish I had a phone So I could call my Laura Lee, and dream me halfway home After two years of good behavior they finally let me out To spend the rest of my time in a skid row halfway house Then one night my room-mate he broke parole and they came for his arrest He pulled a gun and shots were fired and one ripped through my chest Ohh, I looked outside the window, heard the sirens in the street Closed my eyes, saw a light, and they covered me with a sheet And I felt the hole inside my heart, but I did not feel alone Cause standing there was Laura Lee, to see me halfway home I'd look outside my window, stare across the street She'd wave back, kill the light, settle off to sleep I'd feel the hole inside my heart, wish that we were grown Someday Laura Lee and me would be more than halfway home
SAME RIVER TWICE - written by Darryl Purpose The water flows by this holy place and I am anointed here But when I come back to get my fill I find it's disappeared It's wound through these hills and these valleys Past the most modest of my expectations 'Round the world in time CHORUS: You can't step into the Same River Twice No you can't step into the Same River Twice All we have are these moments and memories of moments we've had And if I'd lost this song today, well I wouldn't feel too bad Cause I remember that moment as real as the love in the air And I might like to remember that moment, but I can't go back there CHORUS: You can't step into the Same River Twice No you can't step into the Same River Twice I know what happens when two people are as one The heavens open when love has begun I know what happens when all is said and done We're left to contemplate and live in this new moment's sun Love from this new moment on INSTRUMENTAL BREAK CHORUS: You can't step into the Same River Twice No you can't step into the Same River Twice
Mr Schwinn 04:00
Mr Schwinn ©1999 Darryl Purpose - Gamblers Grace Music and Robert Morgan Fisher - Extended Family Music Mr Schwinn was as thin as a pelican's grin And I took him my bike when the wheel wouldn't spin When the wheel wouldn't spin and the gear wouldn't shift For fixing a bike, the man had a gift They were stashed in the back of his waterfront shack His and her bikes, perfectly matched Perfectly matched like a groom and a bride waiting to take their honeymoon ride CHORUS: He said, "One of these bikes is more than a twin" As he pumped up the tires and polished the rim I'm savin' it for my Mrs Schwinn The wires and the tires filled me with desire And the sprockets and streamers were truly admired Were truly admired by all kinds of folks Who watched as he carefully tightened the spokes Yes the chrome really shone but if truth be known At the end of the day he went home alone Yes he went home alone by way of the pier And he watched the tide turn and the sun disappear CHORUS: (Polished the rim) Instrumental Verse CHORUS: (Tested the Brakes) Yesterday was the day that I heard someone say That the man at the bicycle shop passed away Mr Schwinn passed away and my wife and I cried 'Cause he never did take that honeymoon ride 'Twas with grim discipline that the town buried him And the gravestone revealed that his name wasn't Schwinn But I'll tell you with pride He gave me the groom and my wife, the bride REPEAT FIRST VERSE
Cherokee 04:41
You Must Go Home For Christmas (E) By the (C)time that I hit Barstow, I'd quit (E)drinking (C)The silent night was cold, the lights were (E)blinking I (C#m)slept under a (A)public Christmas (E)tree (A)Woke up feeling stiff, saw (B)my life was a gift (A)Given ex(B)clusively to (E)me I'm (A)going home for (E)Christmas, (A)thinking that I (E)should (A)Go and see the (C#m)family, and (F#7)hope it's under(B)stood That (A)when you travel (E)far away, from (A)your old neighbor(C#m)hood You (A)must go home for (E)Christmas, You (A) must go home for (E)Christmas (A)You must go (B)home, for (E)good I saw three men about half a mile from Vegas Said this town was no place to spend Christmas They offered me a ride in their old car Said the answer that you seek, lies somewhere in the east So I followed that rising morning star I'm going home for Christmas, thinking that I should Go and see the family, and hope it's understood That when you travel far away, from your old neighborhood You must go home for Christmas, You must go home for Christmas You must go home, for good By the time I made Missouri I'd decided To reunite the family I'd divided Return to the city, of my nativity Foster some good will for what it's worth INSTRUMENTAL CHORUS In Bethlehem P.A. I shaved and showered Called to say I'd be home in three hours It sounded like the phone line had gone dead But before I hung up, the other end spoke up And tearfully I listened as she said Please come home for Christmas, please come home for good Come and see the family, cause now it's understood That when you travel far away, from your old neighborhood You must go home for Christmas, You must go home for Christmas You must go home, for good when you travel far away, from your own neighborhood You must go home fro Christmas, You must go home for Christmas You must go home, for good
SINGER SONGWRITER HEAVEN 5:17 Kevin Faherty Last night I had a dream, I went to Singer/Songwriter Heaven Jim Croce was at the gate, shook my hand, said, " you’ve been expected." "Let me hail you a taxi, to show you these heavenly grounds." So he flagged down Harry Chapin, who was out just makin’ rounds. Well, I gave him my best, "How are ya, Harry?" and Harry said, "Up yours!" "Don’t give me your cheap imitation, son. Just get in now and close that door." He said, "Welcome to a state of mind called "alpha and omega", where now is always sooner and sooner is never later." Well, we took an alternative route, right on past that writers’ block Saw Gram Parsons on Kate Wolf's porch, singin’ country folk and rock And nodding over coffee, right outside the Angelic Cafe Townes Van Zandt, Steve Goodman, Dave Carter, Nick Drake Roll down your window, steal a good line if you hear one Give one away, if you have a spare one There’s a racket goin’ on between cloud seven and eleven On cloud nine is where you’ll find Singer/Songwriter Heaven I said, "Stop the car, Harry. I really got to hear that conversation!" He said, "All right, just remember the meter’s running and you’ll be paying" I heard Hank Williams say, "You know what the trouble is with songwriters down on earth?" "Why, mucho pointless chorus, and ditto pretentious verse." Well, I was sitting two tables down trying to go unnoticed and not to blush ’Cause I knew I had been guilty, of exactly what he was speaking of Then John Lennon made a point that pierced open my whole point of view He said, "They need an eye for the obvious, and an ear for the god damn truth." Well, I washed down that thought with a big old cloud nine espresso Got back into the cab said, "OK, Harry, there’s just one thing I need to know..." "Why’d they die so young? Seems they were in their prime." He said, "We need new songs up here, too. Angels tire of singing the same old rhymes." Roll down your window, steal a good line if you hear one Give one away, if you have a spare one There’s a racket goin’ on between cloud seven and eleven On cloud nine is where you’ll find Singer/Songwriter Heaven Well we passed a bunch of old coffee houses... Gerdes, Club 47 I said, "What are these ancient places doing here, Harry, in Singer/Songwriter Heaven?" He said, "Those rooms had a spirit, son. This is where great spirits go. You see, all those years of music, why it gave those rooms a soul." I said, "OK, I’d like to stay here, Harry. Can you get me a room on that writers’ block? He said. "Whoa, no can do son, and I hate to send you into shock, But this is only a dream for you. You better let these sweet memories dwell... ’Cause tomorrow morning you wake up in Nashville...Singer/Songwriter hell." Well I felt like I’d been choked, just like a capo on the 12th fret. But I quickly recomposed myself, and re-modulated my breath Then I said, "Up yours, Harry!" as he brought his taxi to the proverbial stop and I gave him 2.50 for a 20 dollar fare, just to piss him off Roll down your window, steal a good line if you hear one Give one away, if you have a spare one There’s a racket goin’ on between cloud seven and eleven On cloud nine is where you’ll find Singer/Songwriter Heaven Roll down your window, steal a good line if you hear one Give one away, if you have a spare one There’s a racket goin’ on between cloud seven and eleven On cloud nine is where you’ll find Singer/Songwriter Heaven


ALL MUISC by Evan Cater:
Poverty, rather than inspiration, prompted Darryl Purpose to record his second album, Same River Twice (originally released as darryl PURPOSE), in a continuous 60-minute take with just his voice, his guitar, and Daryl S.'s violin. Sometimes, financial constraints can be an artist's best friend: Same River Twice is a remarkably consistent effort from a singer/songwriter who was only a year into his professional career when it was recorded. Its songs are more than capable of withstanding the warts-and-all scrutiny exacted by the minimal setting; in fact, the intimacy only strengthens them. Though Purpose, a cowboy hat wearing former blackjack pro with a truck driver's haircut and a body like John Popper, could pass for a country singer, his songs' reflective sensitivity and his fretwork's eyebrow-raising speed place him firmly in the folk camp. Tinged by a slight southern drawl, his baritone shifts between gentle James Taylor smoothness and a husky nasal tone that recalls Van Morrison when he lets it rip (as on "Cherokee" and "What Was I Thinking"). Purpose also displays an unfailing melodic ear and a sculptor's eye for detail, particularly on "Mr. Schwinn," a moving and whimsically worded story about a lonely bike repairman set to a brisk, cyclical fingerstyle riff that suggests spinning bike wheels. Daryl S.'s warm, skillful fiddling is all the embellishment Purpose needs. Same River Twice finishes with a cover of Kevin Faherty's clever tribute to prematurely departed songsmiths, "Singer/Songwriter Heaven," which imagines a celestial stomping ground for the likes of Harry Chapin, Graham Parsons, Mark Heard, and Nick Drake. Purpose has made a surprisingly strong case that he deserves a place among them.

A mesmerizing storyteller who draws from life experiences, Darryl Purpose is known for his gentle baritone, flawless fingerstyle guitar, and his unflinching songs presented with an uncommon mix of delicacy and grit.

"A physically imposing man, hat firmly on head and dressed in black, he bordered on the menacing, until he opened his mouth. Then his natural warmth and charm blazed through."
- Michael Mee, Southern Reporter

"America's most original narrative songwriter since Harry Chapin"
- Q Magazine, February 2001

Darryl Purpose has led a diverse and interesting life. Lured as a teenager to the world of casino gambling, Purpose went from betting dollars on the graveyard shifts in downtown Las Vegas, to being one of the best blackjack players in the world by his mid twenties. In his late twenties, Purpose left Blackjack to walk across the country (L.A. to DC) with the 'Great Peace March.' Writing and playing music as a member of the 'house band' of the GPM-his first performing experience- was a watershed event for Purpose, leaving him with a permanent thirst for the connection possible through music. This led to another march in the (then) Soviet Union and the first-ever, outdoor stadium rock concert there, featuring Bonnie Raitt, Santana, James Taylor, and Darryl's band, Collective Vision.

Purpose moved into music fulltime in 1996. A thousand shows, and 20,000 CD's later, Purpose has "finally realized his calling as a dramatist for the dispossessed, a chronicler of those Americans who, by choice or by chance, live on the heart's back streets, rising up through the crooked lines like leaves of grass" writes Michael Tisserand in the liner notes from his album A Crooked Line .

From unrequited love in a bicycle repair shop in Mr. Schwinn to spurned to ramblings of a disaffected Angelino in "A Crooked Line," we recognize that the often dark characters presented in those story songs live all around us. With his distinctive baritone voice, a smoothly proficient finger-style guitar technique which has earned him an endorsement with Taylor Guitars and a sense of drama and storytelling in his lyrics and music, Purpose delivers a charismatic performance that captures coffeehouse and theater audiences alike, including a huge supply of interesting stories from his activities as a peace activist, professional gambler and modern troubadour.

"Darryl Purpose's music hits all the vital areas: the heart, the mind and the gut... Purpose delivers these tales in language that is precise and unflinching, with a voice that rings true from experience. These songs never let go."
- New Orleans Gambit Weekly


Selected Venues -
The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA
Bluebird Cafe - Nashville TN
Circle of Friends Coffeehouse - Franklin MA
Club Passim, Cambridge MA
Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse - Berkeley CA
Harris Creek Acoustic - Hampton,VA
Hill Country House Concerts - Bulverde,TX
The Kennedy Center -Washington,DC
Kerrville Folk Festival - Kerrville TX
Live Oak Music Festival - Santa Barbara CA
McCabes - Santa Monica CA
Rose Garden Coffeehouse - Mansfield MA
South Florida Folk Festival - Ft Lauderdale FL
Seattle Folklore Society - Seattle WA
The Turning Point - Piermont, NY
Uncle Calvin's - Dallas TX

Selected Festivals:
Cambria Hoot Indian Summer Acoustic Music Festival - Cambria CA
Dogwood Festival - Atlanta GA
Falcon Ridge Folk Festival - Hillsdale, NY
Flat Rock Music Festival - flat Rock NC
Kerrville Folk Festival - Kerrville TX
Live Oak Music Festival * Santa Barbara CA
Napa Valley Music Festival - Napa CA
Rocky Mountain Folks Festival - Lyons,CO
Sisters Folk Festival - Sisters OR
South Florida Folk Festival - Ft Lauderdale FL


* A CROOKED LINE - Tangible Music, 2001
Purpose's latest includes stunning musical contributions from friends Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer, two songs co-written with Ellis Paul, and a vocal/strings arrangement performed by members of the Turtle Island String Quartet. His cast of largely nameless wanderers and fate-tempters now expands to include a mostly-forgotten president (California), a haunted veteran ( Late for Dinner) and a disaffected Angelino (A Crooked Line).

"Darryl Purpose once made his living as a professional 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, unsentimentalized 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

* TRAVELERS' CODE - Tangible Music, 1999
Includes the sweet wedding song, "Ring On My Hand" (a duet with Lucy Kaplansky), the soul-baring "Child of Hearts" (with Ellis Paul), and a sweetly updated "Last Great Kiss of the 20th Century"

"Harry Chapin would be proud."
~ Folk and Music Exchange
'"Purpose takes the almost indescribably intense moments of life and brings them a step closer to comprehension... "
~Mike Devlin - Music Matters Review

* SAME RIVER TWICE (originally titled "darryl PURPOSE,") - Dec 1997
Includes - Singer/Songwriter Heaven and Dangerous Game. Recorded in one take in the studio, this album highlights Darryl's dramatic guitar work, his expressive voice and his offbeat world view. With Daryl S. adding sweet and soulful touches on violin, this is an all-acoustic album that compels attention.

"...beautifully crafted literature set to wonderful melodies and presented with an uncommon mix of delicacy and grit. There isn't a filler song on this album"
~Dale Barcellos, Bluegrass by the Bay

" One of the best CD's of the year"
~Cape Cod Times

* RIGHT SIDE OF ZERO - Tangible Music, Dec 1995
Purpose' first release includes The Island Song, I Will Run, Right Side of Zero , Don't Tear Down.

"a breath of fresh air in an overcrowded market"
~Dirty Linen

"Darryl's fine guitar work is evident throughout, especially on the instrumental, 'Rootwing,' which opens and closes the album. Combine that with his hypnotic voice and heartfelt words and 'Right Side of Zero' comes close to a perfect ten."
~The Performing Songwriter

Bud Franklin:
Same River Twice
I have been following Darryl\'s career and have his full library.... he is one of the best singer songwriters in America today... in the genre of Harry Chapin as a storyteller along with as a bonus outstanding finger picking guitar style.... if you ever get a chance to see him live take it .. if you are lucky enough to see Him with Daryl S. a virtuoso violin player your in for a real treat... although I haven\'t heard of them together for years.... this is the best album as you get less produceing effects and more pure music .... love it... Buy it now

Russ & Julie:
A True Work Of Art
Same River Twice is one of our very favorite albums of the past decade or so. It's a finely crafted masterpiece showcasing the best of Darryl Purpose's songwriting, offset beautifully by the incredible Daryl S. on violin. You'll be hard-pressed to locate a superior singer-songwriter album anywhere.

Evan Cater, ALL Music:
Darryl Purpose was a late arrival to the folk explosion of the 1990s. By the time he became a full-time folk singer in 1996, the competition among acoustic troubadours scrambling to find a place in the wake left by monster success stories like Tracy Chapman, Shawn Colvin, and the Indigo Girls was intense and daunting. But folk music is, after all, a storytelling genre. And when Purpose did finally hit the folk scene, he came with an unusually eclectic resume that provided him with a wealth of compelling stories to tell. His songs, which have drawn liberally from his experiences as a highly regarded professional blackjack player and a well-traveled peace activist, garnered considerable attention from the outset of his career. After the 1996 release of his debut album, Right Side of Zero, Purpose began an impressive prize-inning run in songwriting contests around the country. His sophomore effort, a one-take acoustic recording with violinist Daryl S., was released in December of 1997 with the title darryl PURPOSE; it was later reissued as Same River Twice. By the time he recorded his third album, Traveler's Code in 1999, Purpose had made enough of an impact in American folk circles to score guest appearances from well-established artists like Ellis Paul, David Miner, and Lucy Kaplansky. The confident, rich Crooked Line appeared in summer 2001, followed by the Christmas release Gift of the Magi in 2002. ~ Evan Cater

VENTS Magazine:

Darryl Purpose: Blackjack Player, Activist and Song Writer
RJ Frometa February 10, 2016 Entertainment 1 Comment 173 Views


Songs are formed from the threads that weave their way through our lives. Pulled from the fibers of our being and woven into a collection of beats and bars to tell a unique story, songs are the histories of our lives and one of the finest musical storytellers from the last few years is Darryl Purpose.

Much like artists such as Jo Kroger, who used her experiences of love to pen Simplest, Purpose’s first single, Right Side of Zero (1996) was a narrative fuelled by his time as a blackjack player in Las Vegas (as the opening line “Springtime sunrise on a warm dessert morning” illustrates).

In fact, since his maiden release, songs such as Ghost of Crazy Horse (2012) and Dangerous Game (1996) (see video below) have not only captured the imagination of Americans because of Purpose’s subtle tones, but because of the messages they contain.

When you scroll through Purpose’s discography, you’ll see that he’s released seven albums – including Right Side of Zero (1996), Same River Twice (1997) and Travelers’ Code (1999) – you can see that allusions to the gambling world abound.

Using Blackjack Beats to Inspire Musical Beats

By far one of the biggest influences on Purpose’s musical career was his time as a blackjack professional. A proficient player before it was trendy to go online, Purpose was regarded as one of the best in the world prior to giving it all up to become an activist of sorts. Joining a variety of social awareness movements, Purpose literally found a purpose in life beyond blackjack. However, blackjack remained a constant in both his life and his music.

Indeed, Purpose began exploring his ideals through music and began to weave his life as a gambler into his moral outlook on life and society.

Gambling with a Purpose



One of the biggest influences on Purpose’s blackjack career and one of the reasons he was able to become a member of the game’s Hall of Fame was Edward O. Thorp.

A professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Thorp used his knowledge of numbers to work as a hedge fund manager, invent the first wearable computer in 1955 and pen one of the definitive books on blackjack: Beat the Dealer (1962).

That book not only became a global hit, but it earned Thorp a place in the Blackjack Hall of Fame alongside many of the most notable blackjack players in history. It was this very book that first inspired Purpose to become a blackjack player after his mother gave him a copy as a Christmas present when he was 16.

This childhood gift served as the catalyst for a career that saw Purpose win hundreds of thousands of dollars at the table and, eventually, earned him a place in the very same Hall of Fame in 2009, along with the author of Beat the Dealer.

Music’s Give and Take



Of all his life experiences, Purpose has often cited his blackjack career as the fuel for much of his music. However, as any artist would admit, the creative process is a reciprocal one that involves give and take – and Purpose certainly used his love of music to inspire his own emotions before he turned to inspiring others.

Indeed, Purpose didn’t simply draw on his experience at the blackjack tables to fuel his creativity. Instead, he used it in his previous career as a way to focus his mind. Like all games of skill, blackjack not only requires an acute sense of timing, but it involves a host of numerical processes and one of the best ways to focus the mind is to block out the world using melodic chords.

Whether it’s the sounds of Purpose or any other musician, music has been scientifically proven to help improve your focus. According to a study by the Wake Forest School of Medicine and the University of North Carolina Greensboro, MRI scans showed that participant’s brain activities increased when they listened to music. Moreover, when participants listened to their favorite musical genre, whether it was classic or pop, their internally focused thoughts (known technically as the default mode network in our brains) increased at an even greater rate.

From the online blackjack player grinding to the James Bond-style gambler in Las Vegas, music is a great way to focus the mind on all the skills and strategies espoused by the likes of Thorpe and his peers.

A Life’s Work in Song

Purpose clearly identified this connection between thoughts, emotions and focus early on in his life as many other artists since have done (Tom Lowe’s EP Phone was a tribute to his phone).

Indeed, for any aspiring blackjack player or musician there’s a lot to learn from Purpose. Whether it’s the way he’s used his experience to inspire his music or how he used music to inspire parts of his life, Purpose has shown that music is as much of a catalyst for life as it is a result of it.

Of course, Purpose is more than a blackjack player, but what’s clear from his life and career is that blackjack had a profound effect on his music. Indeed, you only have to listen to Dreams of Life or Right Side of Zero (see video below) to hear the undertones of a life lived on the edge.

The unpredictably and rush of emotions that one goes through at the blackjack table is often likened to the sensations an adrenaline junkie gets when they leap out of a plane at 10,000ft. Fear, trepidation, excitement and relief are all emotions Purpose would have gone through in his career and they’re all emotions present in his music.

Indeed, much like Morgan St. Jean used her experiences of being so in love that you can’t leave a destructive relationship in order to write Drown, Purpose has used the highs and lows of his love affair with blackjack to give his tracks some context.

While there’s no doubt the tapestry of his life as a whole helped shape his music, the threads that stretch back to the blackjack table are certainly the threads that bind his work together. For those wanting a new musical experience with a familiar tone, Purpose’s songs are certainly worth a listen.



released January 1, 1997


Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.



Darryl Purpose Nederland, Colorado

Darryl went to Las Vegas at 19 and became a professional blackjack player, which he still calls the 'only real job I've ever had'. He is a member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame.
Since 1996, he has toured extensively and released 8 albums of original music.
Darryl's last two albums spent weeks at #1 on the RMR radio charts. Next Time Around and Still The Birds
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