First and foremost, Eddy Lawrence is a storyteller. A skilled musician, Lawrence lays down a comfortable bed of instrumentation then settles in and tells a series of captivating stories that have both personal and universal appeal. There is a spareness to his tales that belies the depths to which he reaches into the human spirit. And the songs of Eddy Lawrence also make easy listening simply as music. This is a winning combination.
There's something about the mood of these songs that always suggests there's a country boy somewhere at their core, but the sound ranges easily across any number of genres. Travelling through folk, country, jazz, rock, blues, and other territories, these songs manage nonetheless to maintain a consistent sound. This is not a disparate scrapbook of short stories but a single, thematic collection.
The eighth release by this prolific songwriter, Inside My Secret Pocket maintains the consistent high quality for which Eddy Lawrence has become known. Listening to his recordings, it becomes clear that each song is written and recorded with consummate care. Beneath the artistry of Eddy Lawrence lies a lifetime of finely hewn craft that can't help but shine through.
Lawrence has described the songs on this release as "the diary of a divorce" and the emotions of this divisive process lend power to stories that would have been powerful and emotive in any event. These are stories that can be understood and felt by any one of us who has been involved in a human relationship or who has loved and lost.
It would be difficult to pick any one of these 22 songs as standing out above the rest. Each has its own merits and each tells its own part of the larger story. The strength of this release is not in one individual song but in their cumulative effect. The quality is consistently high throughout.
If you haven't already discovered Eddy Lawrence, then this release might be a good place to start. Eddy Lawrence stands in a long tradition of American storytelling. Although he's one of the finest modern narrators of American life and does have a certain niche audience, Lawrence remains largely unknown. That's a shame.
Those who may be interested can find additional information about Eddy Lawrence at the Snowplow Records website.
Inside My Secret Pocket