FreeWheelin' Music Safari

The Safari Travels Back to Find Old Folk Friends – Tom Rush and Darryl Purpose

On the last few trips to work at Target I turned the iPod to a couple of albums that I haven’t listen to in a Wrong End of the Rainbowlong time. The first album was Tom Rush’s 1970 release Wrong End of the Rainbow.  The album was Rush’s first release on Columbia Records after three albums on the Elektra label. The album followed one of my all-time favorite albums The Circle Game, which in my opinion, it did not come close to topping, but the album was still a favorite during my college years, onward. It only took the first few words of the title track, which kicks off the album to have me singing along!! 

While Tom is noted for covering the songs of other great songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne. on this album Tom co-wrote four of the ten tracks with Trevor Veitch. Of the remaining tracks there were covers of; Jesse Winchester’s “Biloxi” and two songs from the pen of James Taylor “Sweet Baby James” and “Riding on a Railroad”. While “Sweet Baby James” had appeared on James Taylor’s second album released a several months before Tom’s release, “Riding on a Railroad” wouldn’t appear until Taylor’s third album! Another song covered on the album was Ed Holstein’s  “Jazzman” which would appear in my vinyl collection in 1971 via Steve Goodman’s cover of the song on his debut album So It was a good trip back in time, singing along with Tom!

Darryl PurposeOn Saturday night I while I was still back in time, I moved a little closer to present day, all the way up to 1999 and Darryl Purpose’s release that year Traveler’s Code. Unlike Tom Rush, all the tracks on this album are either written or co-written by Purpose. The album contains two songs that have to be ranked in the top 25 of my all-time favorite songs (when that list will be created, I don’t know) “Mr Schwinn” and the title track “Traveler’s Code”. Other favorites on the album include “Child of Hearts” with background vocalizations provided by Ellis Paul and “Ring on My Finger” with Ms Lucy Kaplansky helping out with some vocals.

For those of you who may not know about Darryl, here’s some background from Wikipedia….

Darryl Purpose is an American singer-songwriter, known for his narrative (often very personal) lyrics and fingerstyle guitar. Before becoming a professional musician, Purpose was a professional blackjack player and was known as one of the best in the world.[1] In 2010 Purpose was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. “Purpose has the voice of James Taylor, the brains of Bob Dylan, and the soul of Willie Nelson”.[2]

In 1986, Purpose walked across the USA with The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament and then a year later in the former Soviet Union. In 1996, he became a “full-time time national touring singer-songwriter” who “hit the folk scene…with an unusually eclectic resume that provided him with a wealth of compelling stories to tell.”[3] As of December 2011, Purpose has returned to touring full-time, returning from an unexplained 7 year hiatus.

I may be mistaken, but I do think that Darryl is the only songwriter who has written a song about President Rutherford B Hayes “California” which opens his album A Crooked Line.

So again it was good to sing along with Darryl. Here’s Darryl performing “Traveler’s Code”……