Our goal is to recycle or “Re-Purpose” used guitar strings to musicians around the world who would otherwise have to do without. If you are traveling to a location that needs strings, we will send them to you!
Darryl Purpose and activist Kevin Deame founded The Second Strings Project (SSP) – a cooperative effort to provide strings to musicians of third world and developing countries who cannot afford to purchase strings or do not have access to strings. This campaign has helped keep musical creativity alive in countries that might otherwise die.
Darryl and Kevin first met on the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament, a cross-country trek in the late eighties. The walk would continue one year later in the former Soviet Union. “I had taken three guitars for the band to use while there,” explained Purpose. “After I saw what some of the folks there were playing on, I felt compelled to leave those guitars there in the hands of people that not only could play them better than I could, but had played their entire lives on instruments that we would consider fit for beginners. Their passion for the music transcended the instruments they played on. It was a remarkable thing to see, how these instruments left there made a huge difference in these peoples’ lives.”
Later, visiting with the campesinos in the hills above El Salvador, Purpose saw how they made a guitar work against all odds – using a pencil as the nut of their acoustic guitar, with carefully carved notches in the pencil for the strings to pass over. “It seems that people will do whatever they have to in order to have music in their lives.”
It’s in that spirit that Darryl and Kevin are asking for help to make it a little easier for some of these musicians. Since many touring artists use a set of guitar strings for a few gigs, and then change them and throw them away, SSP collects these discarded strings and gets them in the right hands. Kevin makes many humanitarian trips, mostly to Latin America (Mexico, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala) but also to Cambodia, Latvia and Mali. Along with medical supplies and eyeglasses, he brings strings to musicians who are very appreciative.
Since 1999, SSP has delivered over 30,000 sets of used guitar strings to those who can use them. Taylor Guitars’ repair department deserves major kudos for sending thousands of strings, as they support Darryl as a Taylor Guitarist. Festivals and other gatherings serve as an excellent time to gather strings and send them through SSP in bulk.
When Darryl was 16 years old, his mother put a book called “Beat the Dealer” in his Christmas stocking. He went to Las Vegas as a teenager and began a career as professional card player – and still calls this the “only real job I’ve ever had.” Years later, he took time off to walk across the country for peace, and fell in with a bad crowd – musicians & peaceniks. In 1996, inspired by his work with a traveling band of musical activists, Darryl began to tour nationally as a solo singer-songwriter. Eight years, six CDs and a thousand-plus shows later, he was headlining venues like the Freight and Salvage, Club Passim, McCabe’s, The Bluebird Cafe, The Kennedy Center, and the Kerrville Folk Festival Main Stage.
In 2005, he inexplicably set down his guitar and took a 7-year sabbatical in the Rocky Mountains. During this time, he shepherded the release of “Singer-Songwriter Heaven: the songs of Kevin Faherty.” He also continued to co-captain the Second Strings Project, which is responsible for delivering over twenty thousand sets of guitar strings to those who need them all around the world. In 2009, he was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame, one of 17 members, including Ed Thorp, the man who wrote that book that his mother put into his Christmas stocking at 16. He says that he also “got healthy, in multiple ways.”
After 7 years away from the singer- songwriter scene, Darryl Purpose is back to making music, with a new energy and a new flair for connecting with audiences. 2012 saw Darryl record his first CD of original material in 10 years – “Next Time Around,” produced by Billy Crockett for the Blue Rock Artists label. With no formal radio promotion, the CD spent five weeks at #1 on the Roots Music Report folk chart for national radio airplay in March & April 2013.
Live performance is his strength as he connects his audience to his songs with a storyteller’s heart.
Kevin is a software engineer by training and has run his own business for more than twenty years. After participating in the Great Peace March across the United States and a second peace march in the former Soviet Union, he became interested in gathering medical supplies and delivering them as donations to impoverished counties. Over the years it has developed into delivering not only medical supplies and eyeglasses, but at Darryl’s suggestion he began supplementing the shipments with guitar strings.