Can’t “Wash Away” Joe Purdy’s Success

joepurdyI really admire dream chasers.  In 2001, Joe Purdy decided to chase his dream.  He packed up his bags and left his small Arkansas town where he was the school counselor to play music in LA, the ultimate city of dreams.  He just had to get his music heard.  By playing open mic nights and selling burned CDs of his stuff at his shows, he tried to get his stuff out there.  If a fan couldn’t afford it, he would give it to them free.  Because he hoped fans would burn copies and pass them on to friends.  Totally against the grain of the music industry, who has been doing everything it can to prevent duplication and illegal downloading to ensure they get a cut every time a song is played.  It’s worked out for Joe.


A guy approached Joe after one of his shows saying that he bought a CD and enjoyed his stuff.  This guy was Bryan Burk, the executive vice president of Bad Robot Productions and the executive producer of Lost.


He didn’t call Joe until almost a year after that initial meeting.  At that he was working on a new TV series (Lost) and heard Joe’s CD playing in a restaurant.  Burk asked the waitress for Joe’s number and left him a message saying he needed a song for being deserted on an island.  As luck would have it, Joe was on an island in the St. Lawrence River at the time for a benefit show and he was writing songs about being on an island.

Since then, this folk singer-songerwriter has recorded ten albums.  And you get this:

From then, the television spots just kept coming.  “I Love the Rain,” “The City,” “Suitcase,” “Can’t Get it Right Today,” and “San Jose” have all taken up residence in Grey’s Anatomy.  “Rainy Day Lament” was featured on House, MD.  “Can’t Get it Right Today” is also featured on a commercial for Kia.


From having the Who’s Pete Townshend singing back up for him with the likes of Meg Ryan and Jack Black in the audience to being asked by Townshend to be one of the featured artists—along with the talented Ben Harper and Lou Reed—for a In the Attic series album, Joe Purdy truly has a fabulous life.


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