Rawlins Cross

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

Rawlins Cross
Rawlins Cross performing at Riverfest Elora in 2018. From left: Brian Bourne (Chapman Stick), Joey Kitson (vocals), Howie Southwood (in back, on drums), Dave Panting (mandolin), Ian McKinnon (tin whistle). Not pictured: Geoff Panting
Rawlins Cross performing at Riverfest Elora in 2018. From left: Brian Bourne (Chapman Stick), Joey Kitson (vocals), Howie Southwood (in back, on drums), Dave Panting (mandolin), Ian McKinnon (tin whistle). Not pictured: Geoff Panting
Background information
OriginSt. John's, Newfoundland
GenresCeltic rock
Years active1988–2001
LabelsGround Swell
Warner Music Canada
MembersJoey Kitson
Dave Panting
Geoff Panting
Ian McKinnon
Brian Bourne
Howie Southwood
Past membersPamela Paton
Lorne Taylor
Derek Pelley
Tom Roach

Formation and early historyEdit

Rawlins Cross was formed in St. John's in the late 1980's by songwriting brothers Dave Panting, (guitar and mandolin) Geoff Panting,(keyboards and accordion) and Ian McKinnon (highland pipes and tin whistle). They then added drummer Pamela Paton and bassist Lorne Taylor to the band.

The band started in 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." Weeks after its release, "Colleen" had a top ten radio slot on Toronto's CFNY station. In 1991, Lorne Taylor left the band, with Derek Pelley briefly replacing Taylor on bass. Prior to the recording of their sophomore album, Crossing The Border, Pamela Paton left in late 1991, to be replaced by Tom Roach. Bassist Derek Pelley left in early 1992, and was replaced by Brian Bourne.[citation needed]

Popularity and mainstream successEdit

In 1992, the band released Crossing The Border, which further developed the fusion of highland bagpipes, mandolin and accordion with a rhythm section. A year later, after Rawlins Cross brought in drummer Howie Southwood, the band recorded Reel 'n' Roll, which would be its best-selling album and launch a national radio hit with the title track.[citation needed] Prior to the recording of Reel 'n' Roll, Prince Edward Island singer Joey Kitson joined the band as the new lead singer. Prior to Kitson joining the band, guitarist Dave Panting sang lead vocals for the band on the albums, A Turn of the Wheel and Crossing The Border.

Rawlins Cross released Living River in 1996, which garnered two Juno Award nominations.[citation needed] The band toured Canada three times that year and signed a licensing 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.[citation needed]

Two more albums followed: Celtic Instrumentals in 1997, a retrospective collection, and the 1998 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. In November 2010, they released their eighth album, Heart Head Hands. Their next recording, Rock Steady, was recorded at Codapop Studios (in Halifax, Nova Scotia) and released in December 2017 with the single, "Hold You Tonight".


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.[citation needed]

Band membersEdit

Former band membersEdit

  • Pamela Paton — drums (1988-1991)
  • Lorne Taylor —bass (1988-1991)
  • Derek Pelley — bass (1991-1992)
  • Tom Roach — drums (1991-1993)



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
2017 Rock Steady
2019 Flying Colours


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 nominationsEdit


  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 linksEdit