Nfld. & Labrador·First Listen

After four decades making music, Rawlins Cross is Rock Steady

The Celtic rock band Rawlins Cross has settled into a comfortable groove of playing a few gigs every year, but recently, says guitarist and mandolin player Dave Panting, the band has picked up the tempo.

Have a First Listen to Rock Steady by Rawlins Cross

Rawlins Cross is, from left, Joey Kitson, Ian McKinnon, Howie Southwood, Geoff Panting, Brian Bourne and Dave Panting. (courtesy Rawlins Cross)

The Celtic rock band Rawlins Cross has settled into a comfortable groove of playing a few gigs every year, but recently, says guitarist and mandolin player Dave Panting, the band has picked up the tempo.

"Ian McKinnon phoned us up in 2016 and said 'you know, we should do a new record,' said Panting.

About a year ago, the band members  gathered to record six new songs, which make up the fresh Rawlins Cross EP Rock Steady.

Formed in the '80s 

Rawlins Cross formed in the mid-1980s, when Panting, and his brother Geoff met bagpipe and whistle player Ian McKinnon at a house party in St. John's.

The trio added added a rhythm section, and settled on the band's current lineup of Dave Panting, guitar and mandolin, Geoff Panting, keyboards and accordion, Ian McKinnon, highland pipes and whistles, Joey Kitson, vocals, bass and Chapman stick player Brian Bourne, and drummer Howie Southwood in 1994.

That was at the height of mainstream music industry interest in Celtic rock from the East Coast of Canada.

"[It was] pretty cool," said Dave Panting of that time.

Ups and downs 

Since then, the members of Rawlins Cross have ridden out the ups, downs and technological changes in the music industry,

Dave and Geoff Panting continue to be busy musicians in Newfoundland and Labrador. Kitson teaches information technology in the Maritimes, Bourne is a busy Maritime musician, and Southwood is a musician and construction worker in Ontario.

McKinnon runs GroundSwell Music, an artist management and music recording company, in Halifax.  

Rawlins Cross is planning tour dates across Canada for the spring and summer of 2018.

"You have to be a touring band again," said Geoff Panting.

Hear Dave and Geoff Panting of Rawlins Cross talk with Weekend AM's Heather Barrett.  

Do you have a new album of music that Weekend AM should know about for First Listen? Email us wam@cbc.ca and tell us about it.

You can hear First Listen on Sundays on Weekend AM from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. (5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in Labrador) on CBC Radio One.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Barrett is the host and producer of Weekend AM on CBC Radio One in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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