" ... there's no band more capable of bringing the unique cultural mix of Canada's Atlantic provinces
into the contemporary world." —The Georgia Straight
"Rawlins Cross ... took the stage and promptly won the crowd's heart. — The New York Times
Fusing Celtic traditional music with the rhythms of rock, pop and worldbeat music, multiple JUNO nominees and nine-time East Coast Music Award winners, Rawlins Cross are equally at ease with a soulful Highland Air (“MacPherson's Lament“) or a raucous party song (“Colleen“, “Wild Rose“, “Reel 'n' Roll“) and never fail to electrify their faithful fans.
Formed in St. John's in the late 1980s by songwriting brothers Dave Panting (guitar, mandolin, banjo, vocals), Geoff Panting (keyboards, accordion) and Ian McKinnon (highland pipes, tin whistle, bodhran), the group band burst onto the East Coast recording scene in with their 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 and Rawlins Cross was on its way.
In 1992, the band released Crossing The Border, which further developed the ground-breaking fusion of highland bagpipes, mandolin and accordion with a rocking rhythm section. A year later, the band recorded Reel 'n' Roll, which would prove to be its best-selling commercial success (reaching GOLD sales status) and launched a national radio hit with the title track. With the solid rhythm section of Brian Bourne (bass, Chapman stick, vocals) and Howie Southwood (drums, percussion), Rawlins Cross enlisted Joey Kitson (vocals, harmonica), to complete its signature sound.
Rawlins Cross released Living River in 1995, which garnered two JUNO Award nominations. The band toured Canada three times that year, signed a licencing deal for its music in Europe, and performed live on the nationally-televised East Coast Music Awards Show before an audience of two million viewers. The group also headlined the 9th Annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration Festival in Germany and represented Canada at the Expo Cumbre de las Americas in Santiago, Chile.
Two more albums followed, including Celtic Instrumentals (1997), a retrospective collection, and Make It On Time (1998), which would prove to be the band's last album for more than a decade. In 2008, following a seven year hiatus, Rawlins Cross reunited to release Anthology, a compilation of its best recorded songs. Since that release, the group has performed at numerous festivals and large events nationwide, including The Vancouver Olympics and a command performance for The Queen in Halifax.
Rawlins Cross released Heart Head Hands in 2010. The album, produced by Dave and Geoff and recorded by Charles Austin at Echo Chamber Studio in Halifax, offers 16 all-original tracks, featuring 12 songs written by Dave and Geoff Panting and Brian Bourne and four Celtic instrumental selections.