Eddy Lawrence,
Going to Water
(Snow Plow, 2001)

Eddy Lawrence has released his seventh album, Going to Water, on his own label, Snow Plow Records. Part Cherokee, Eddy eschews his European heritage to focus more on "Native Americana" as his website calls it. Mixing a little country with some rock, reggae, Mexican and perhaps a little bit of the blues, Eddy has certainly come up with an intriguing CD!

For current fans, you won't be disappointed with Going To Water. Not only does Eddy play the various instruments as he sings, but he is also the songwriter. Often, the lyrics are powerfully written, pointing out the injustices done to Native Americans by the white man. Just as often, the lyrics point out the failings of the red man, especially concerning strong drink. And I can't forget to mention the multiple songs that deal with the American Indian connection to nature.

For those of you not familiar with Eddy, let me warn you about his voice. If you heard Eddy at a karaoke bar, you wouldn't think he was half bad. Unfortunately, most people expect more from recorded musicians. Once you give the CD a couple of listens, his voice tends to grow on you. Until then, focus on the music. He really is quite talented!

Now on to the songs. My favorite one is "Four Faces." This is a song about the four men of Mount Rushmore -- George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Eddy sings about "four great white fathers telling great white lies." I feel that the point of the song is not so much to offend, but rather to enlighten Americans with another view of their history. Plus, it has a good beat.

"Turtles" is a song about the personalities of various animals (turtles, bears and wolves) and how Eddy is more like a turtle than the other two. Eddy does not believe in much of anything as he tries to find his own way in life. Turtles are skeptical and so is Eddy. This piece invokes Native American imagery to a reggae beat. It works for me.

"El Barzon" is a song that uses the Mexican slang for the yoke of debt. While the chorus is sung in Mexican Spanish, the majority of the song is in English. This piece points out how the white man came and disrupted the American Indian way of life. Before you jump to any conclusions, let me point out that there are several selections on this CD that do not mention race. There are 14 songs in all on Going to Water, so you definitely get variety and your money's worth.

Eddy was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He currently resides in upstate New York close to the Canadian border. He was joined on Going To Water for the song "Birdtown" by Al, the rooster. To hear Eddy (and Al), you'll have to purchase Going to Water because I'm not giving up my copy!

[ by Wil Owen ]
Rambles: 19 January 2002

Buy it from Amazon.com.