Rawlins Cross

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Rawlins Cross
Origin St. John's, Newfoundland
Genres Celtic rock
Years active


Labels Ground Swell
Warner Music Canada
Website www.rawlinscross.com
Members Joey Kitson
Dave Panting
Jeff Panting
Ian McKinnon
Brian Bourne
Howie Southwood

Rawlins Cross is a Canadian Celtic band[1] that formed in 1988 in Atlantic Canada. With members from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Ontario, the band took its name from an intersection in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Formation and early history[edit]

Rawlins Cross was formed in St. John's in the late 1980s by songwriting brothers Dave Panting (guitar and mandolin) and Geoff Panting (keyboards and accordion) and Ian McKinnon (highland pipes and tin whistle).

The band burst onto the East Coast recording scene in late 1989 with its first indie recording, A Turn of the Wheel and a video for the single "Colleen." Just weeks after its release, "Colleen" scored a top ten radio slot on Toronto's influential CFNY station.

Popularity and mainstream success[edit]

In 1992, the band released Crossing The Border, which further developed the fusion of highland bagpipes, mandolin and accordion with a rocking rhythm section. A year later the band recorded Reel 'n' Roll, which would be its best-selling album and launch a national radio hit with the title track. At this time, Prince Edward Island singer Joey Kitson joined the band.

Rawlins Cross released Living River in 1995, which garnered two Juno Award nominations. The band toured Canada three times that year and signed a licencing deal for its music in Europe.

Rawlins Cross performed live on the nationally-televised East Coast Music Awards and performed at the ninth annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration Festival in Germany and also represented Canada at the Expo Cumbre de las Americas in Santiago, Chile.

Two more albums followed: Celtic Instrumentals in 1997, a retrospective collection, and the studio album Make It On Time, which would prove to be the band's last album for more than a decade.

Following a six year hiatus, Rawlins Cross reunited in the fall of 2008 and released its seventh recording, Anthology. The band is once again performing select dates in North America.


Rawlins Cross mixed Scottish, Irish, Celtic, and Rock'n'Roll elements. Their style ranged from Celtic-instrumental to blues to folk, always with a strong rhythmic feeling, and combined contemporary song stylings with traditional instrumentation and story elements. The principal songwriters were brothers Dave and Geoff Panting.

After vocalist Joey Kitson joined the band in 1993, a number of the songs on the first two CDs, including "Turn Of the Wheel", "MacPherson's Lament", "Colleen" and "Open Road" were recorded again with Kitson singing lead, and released on subsequent recordings.

Band members[edit]



Year Album
1989 A Turn of the Wheel
1992 Crossing the Border
1993 Reel 'N' Roll
1996 Living River
1997 Celtic Instrumentals
1998 Make It on Time
2008 Anthology
2010 Heart-Head-Hands


Year Single Chart Positions Album
1994 "Reel 'N' Roll" Reel 'N' Roll
"Long Night" 60
1996 "When My Ship Comes In" Living River
"The Long Way Home" 49 58
1998 "You Will Always Be My Love" Make It on Time
"Where Would I Be" 56

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 1999 East Coast Music Awards
    • Winner
      • Best Roots/Traditional
    • Nominations
      • Entertainer of the Year
      • Best Group of the Year


  1. ^ Fleming, Lee (1997-05-01). Rock, rhythm, and reels: Canada's east coast musicians on stage. Ragweed Press. pp. 176–. ISBN 9780921556657. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 

External links[edit]