““A CRUEL KINDNESS arrives as an impressive debut by a remarkable duo.””
“The Hidden Gem, his first solo album, sees him calling on the talents of cello player Wenday Weatherby, fiddle players Ruaridh Campbell, Fiona Cuthil and Gavin Marwick, and the accordion of Angus Lyon, but it's stillthe dizzying fretwork talents of Lawrence that come to the fore. Whether performing on guitar, bouzouki, cittern, mandolin, mandola or hurdy - gurdy, Lawrence is nothing less than thrilling on a collection of instrumentals that really allow the music to do the talking. Numbers like "The Back Peddler", "Megajig 2" (on which he excels on mandolin), "The Long Road", "Home By Two" and "The Delicate Delegate" are ample evidence of his musical authority and striking versatility.”
Rock 'N' Reel
“It was as a member of The Iron Horse that Stevie Lawrence first reached many of our ears, but he had been playing for many years before that. His CV reads like a Who’s Who as do many of those supporting him. And that is what they do because this is very much his album, as approximately two-thirds of this instrumental CD have been written by Stevie. Of the others there are contributions from Le Gop and accordionist Angus Lyon.
There are no outstanding tracks, they are all good and if I chose my favourites it would be unfair on the others. They all show a high standard of musicianship, whether low whistle on Home by Two, pipes on Tommy Kane’s or guitar on many tracks. Running through many tracks, my surprise was the variety of patterns created by his percussion playing.
Top-quality stuff this and with a bit of exposure could do well. I almost added don’t let it stay a hidden gem!!! But that would be too corny for such a good CD.”
Living Tradition 73
“The debut 'solo' album from one of the hardest-working musicians (from Iron Horse to Shane MacGowan, Donnie Munro to Lena Martell) on the Scottish scene is an all-instrumental, carefully arranged and beautifully performed offering by nine top-class musicians who share Lawrence's creative vision.
More ambient than folksy, the tracks could easily work as film soundtracks or beguiling background music in the classiest of Scottish restaurants - but their immediate easy-on-the-ear quality opens up through repeated listening to reveal hidden gems within.”
Scotland on Sunday