My Secret Pocket
She Loves Me
Doing Your Time
I'd Rather Eat Dirt
She Doesn't Like Poetry
Jack O' Diamonds
Everything Runs Its Course
Bad About You
Toilet Bag Camera
She Medicates Me
The Truth is Always Female
I Got the Power
and foremost, Eddy Lawrence is a story teller. A skilled musician,
Lawrence first 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 sparcity 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 single,
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.
Mackenzie's Roots Music Reviews
songwriters, musing on the end of romance and the problems of
starting anew, would produce an album of heartbreak and self pity.
Eddy Lawrence reaches Inside My Secret Pocket and pulls
out an album and a half of spine-thrilling, blood-pumping folk-rock.
Relationships on the skids make an appearance,
along with cheating, selfish lovers, uncertain new friends and
some good old-fashioned self-loathing. All are handled with
refreshing energy and unusual insight.
"Selfish" explores the corruption
of personal beliefs caused by betrayal, in a very direct and
pragmatic way. "I'd Rather Eat Dirt" is bitter but
also a proud protest against suffering love. And there is hope
-- pragmatic and honest rather than romantic -- heard in the
solid "Bulletproof Friend" and the triumphant finale
"I Got the Power." "She Doesn't Like Poetry"
delivers the feeling of giddy delight that comes in discovering
a sympathetic partner in a very personal way, without once mentioning
the word love or any of the standard romantic tropes.
Most of the songs fit into the theme
of romances and heartbreaks, but all can be taken as singles
with no loss of context. "She's Psychic" will remind
almost everyone of at least one woman in their lives. My favorite
track, "Mithras," has seemingly nothing to do with
the rest of the album, being a very direct hymn to a widely
forgotten god. But it ties in with one of the album's finest
songs, "The Truth is Always Female." Sympathetic and
lyrical, "The Truth" ties the confusions of a single
relationship into the myths of human history, never losing a
contemporary feel or a sense of immediate intimacy.
That constant sense of familiarity is
the greatest strength of Inside My Secret Pocket, more
even than the galvanizing guitar licks and feverishly infectious
hooks. Lawrence has a rare gift for making the personal universal,
summoning strong emotion without resorting to sentiment. If
you're looking for a thoughtful album, a set of music to jam
with, songs to make you think, or even a few laughs, look Inside
My Secret Pocket.
September 3, 2005
get this on the table now- Eddy Lawrence is a major, but overlooked
talent. Why this sorry state of affairs persists, I don’t
know. But if ever there was a case to be made that Lawrence deserves
to be heard – and that folks would love his stuff if they
heard him – this new album is it.
Based in upstate New York and Vermont,
Lawrence has been kicking around for a few years, releasing
a small but steady stream of albums on which he plays every
instrument, and writes every song. These albums are lost gems
– they contain melodic hooks, witty lyrics, and crisp
production. A one-man band is he. But on this newest release,
Lawrence has outdone himself.
Recorded around the time of his divorce,
Inside My Secret Pocket is actually two albums in one.
But the tone and sound blend so seamlessly that it really doesn’t
matter what he set out to do; the finished product is sterling:
an album filled with moving, catchy, literate songs. And he
lays it all out with the sentiment of a folkie who smartly knows
when to shift gears and indulge a talent for a power-pop riff
With a cynical eye and wry sense of
humor, Lawrence exudes a world-weary attitude that is reminiscent
of John Prine at his smarmy best. He dissects his failed marriage
and the bitter aftermath on many of the songs here, but in a
way that actually allows us to feel his feelings. His images
are vivid. His use of language is unflinching.
In fact, Lawrence can be devastating
as he goes about pouring out his pain, such as on “Jersey,”
a beautiful, although heart-wrenching ballad defined by simply
guitar picking. No matter where he and his ex may have attempted
to create a life together, he laments that “anyplace would
still be lonesome if she were living there with me.” On
“Bad About You,” a low-key, wistful song with a
pretty melody, Lawrence sings about hating himself for hating
his ex, but his consolation is figuring she’s just as
tired and bitter as he is. But he doesn’t just sing –
he really does sound exhausted and spent by this emotional rollercoaster
that doesn’t seem to stop for him.
Occasionally, his sense of humor breaks
through. It’s hard not to laugh when he compares his ex
to a toilet-bag camera. “You only see me when my pants
are down, you’re the only one looking when there’s
no one around…you see all of my hidden faces, you know
all of my public faces, someone the world doesn’t know.”
But mostly, there are some nasty sentiments here. This album
is not a love letter. As he sings, “I’d Rather Eat
Dirt (Than Be Treated Like It).” But by doing so, Lawrence
has used his experience to create something positive –
beautiful music. Making this album was clearly cathartic, but
it’s also completely accessible. Throughout the 22 tracks
here, Lawrence masterfully conveys universal emotions –
anger, sadness, confusion, hurt, relief. And, yet he also expresses
hope. The closing number, for instance, “I Got The Power,”
is a power-pop anthem to inner strength, which also happens
to sound like it could have been a 1970s rock radio fixture.
Generally, though, Lawrence is simply cranky, trying to make
sense of what happened as his life unraveled into an unforeseeable
series of events that are now captured in these songs. Like
any gifted artist, though, he wants to let it out. And we should
be very glad he did. This album is a pure delight, even if it
was a heart-breaker for him to make.
Musician’s New Album Full Of Secrets
Eddy Lawrence digs out everything including lint balls with
his new CD, Inside My Secret Pocket. The Moira-based
singer/songwriter wrote, performed, recorded, mixed and mastered
the voluminous 22-track album, which has been described as “the
diary of a divorce.”
The album was once two before Lawrence realized that the second
album, Poor Man’s Fertilizer, was a continuation
of Inside My Secret Pocket. People had a hard time
distinguishing one from the other. Though “Poor Man’s
Fertilizer” was edited out, “Toilet Bad Camera”
was a must, a song locals in Lawrence’s community told
him he had to write. “It’s a song about a fellow
in town caught with a camera in his shaving bag photographing
people without them knowing it.” Lawrence’s therapist
charged him with writing a song about the benefits of therapy.
He fused the two ideas in the song and likens his therapist
to a Peeping Tom.
“Like a Toilet Bag Camera, You see all of my hidden places.
You know that under my public face is someone that the world
The album’s early songs were a cathartic outlet for Lawrence.
“I couldn’t stop myself from writing. I never finished.
It kept going and going.” From "Fragments,”
the first track, to the last, “I Got the Power,”
Lawrence reflects, laughs and masterfully picks his way through
divorce’s upheaval. In “Fragments,” he sings:
“It was in pieces when I found it, I had to put it together
There was certain things I recognized about it,
A few familiar features but they didn’t gel.”
The title song, “My Secret Pocket,” is a bouncy,
bluesy, funky glimpse of one’s dark side. “That
song is about secrecy. We all have a corner of ourselves we
don’t expose to the world that much. With this record,
I have really done that. It’s an emotional root canal.”
“I have a secret pocket, Where I keep my secrets secret
A story that’s unspoken, Not even to myself
No bribery or torture, Could cause me to unlock it
Inside my secret pocket, There is a truth I never tell.
But Lawrence does.
If Cupid’s ever aimed a Glock at you, then this is the
album about love gone wrong and healing self right. Lawrence
sings about a killing love, love’s disappearance and moving
on in “She Loves Me,” “Jersey” and “Doing
Your Time.” Most of Lawrence’s offerings are straightforward
- “I’d Rather Eat Dirt,” (than be treated
like it), “Bulletproof Friend” and “Selfish”
- but others are more allegorical - “Ghostdancing,”
“The Truth is Always Female,” “Mithras”
and “Live Forever.”
For Lawrence, Inside My Secret Pocket was a journey
- a discovery of self, other, others and an exploration. “I
get very spiritual on you.”
Plattsburgh Press Republican