Darryl Buchanan brings music and good times back to rooftop concerts

When the music starts up on the downtown library roof Friday, fan favorite Darryl Buchanan will be back for another show. 

He says he wouldn’t miss the chance. 

“I come from the old school music, the soul, Motown,” he says. “It’s just nice to know … there’s a crowd that still enjoys that music.” 

He started playing professionally 42 years ago with the famous Jr. Walker and the All-Stars. Touring was a grind and those days on the road are done. Darryl says it’s nice to slow down a little and stay as busy as he wants to be. 

“To be first-hand with these great artists,” he says, “it seems like it was boom, boom, boom. But I’m starting to look back now a little bit and I think wow, I did this and did that. … 

“It was work but it was a lot more fun when I was younger,” he laughs. “I’m trying to work earlier now. I don’t do late gigs – 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., that’s couch time for me now.” 

For the library’s Curbside Concerts, the 7-9:30 p.m. slot works out just fine.  

Darryl says he likes the vibe of playing the library roof – outside and downtown, two things he really enjoys. 

“Just the presence of being outdoors under nature, so-to-speak, the sound can travel,” he says.  

Unlike some indoor gigs he plays, the open feel of the library shows lets the crowd dance and groove. He often adds to his show by leaving the rooftop stage to sing and work the crowd at ground level. 

“I like that people can get up and move around,” he says. “The crowds have been good, the weather has been good. … 

“I always say without a great audience, there’s no need to perform. I call it the rooftop-ground concert because I’m on the ground a lot and the band is upstairs. I can’t perform without a wireless (mic), I feel helpless,” he laughs.  

Darryl will bring his mix of soul, R&B and Motown to roof on Friday, May 31. Always the showman, he says the crowd should expect a little something for everyone. 

“It’s a joy to reach back and perform those songs that everyone knows the lyrics to, that they can hum and sing along to,” he says. 

Darryl says he’ll also be sharing some of the new music he’s worked on over the winter. He describes those tunes as a fusion of jazz and R&B instrumentals. 

Curbside Concerts take place every Friday night, May 10 through June 28, at the Downtown library. Find the full schedule, with food vendors and more here

And check out Darryl’s music at DarrylBuchanan.net