A Newfoundland creation, Rawlins Cross actually took its name from a cross section of streets in a town called St. John's. Members of this group include lead singer Joey Kitson, a pair of songwriting brothers, pianist and accordionist Geoff Panting, and mandolin and guitar player Dave Panting, percussionist Ian McKinnon, drummer Howie Southwood, and musician Brian Bourne, who plays a little-known instrument, the chapman stick, a mixture of both bass and guitar. Recordings by Rawlins Cross have the flavor of both neo-traditional pop and Celtic, as well as other styles like rock & roll and some blues and soul. After earning a number of awards, completing half a dozen popular albums, and touring worldwide, the bandmembers announced their decision to call it quits.
Rawlins Cross formed in 1988. A short year later, the group's debut album, A Turn of the Wheel, hit the market. It took three years for the sophomore release to appear, Crossing the River. Other albums from the band include Reel 'n' Roll, Living River, Celtic Instrumentals, and Make It on Time. Along the way, Rawlins Cross won a number of music awards, such as East Coast Music Awards for the Best Recording Group and the Best Pop/Rock Group. There were also Juno nominations for Best Album Design and the Best Roots/Traditional Group. Television appearances helped increase the group's fan base, and soon, tours found the band playing to sold-out crowds and being backed by some of the top orchestras.
In December of 2000, Rawlins Cross performed its last show, accompanied by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. There were no hard feelings between the parting members, just a wish to try something new. Most of them will give solo careers a chance. Working as part of Rawlins Cross gave them a strong foundation to start off from. ~ Charlotte Dillon