Originally published in Celtic Life on October 29, 2019
By Celtic Life International
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Rawlins Cross took their name from an intersection in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The moniker is fitting, as the band is made up of an intersection of people from across Atlantic Canada.
If you have set foot in the Maritimes at anytime over the last three decades, then you have likely heard their music. The group’s 1993 single, Reel and Roll, is practically the unofficial Atlantic Canadian anthem.
“I was always looking for that magic riff,” notes guitarist Dave Panting, who spoke with Celtic Life International over the phone from St. John’s, joined on the line by fellow founding bandmate, Ian MacKinnon, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“Reel and Roll was almost rock crossed with Irish folk,” he continues. “Basically, I was just trying to write a fun song about having a good time. Without meaning to sound immodest or anything, I feel like I got that particular thing right.”
Before their success, the sextet cut their teeth in local and area bars.
“We were originally more of a traditional cover band,” says MacKinnon. “Over time, we morphed into writing original music. Dave and Geoff (Panting, keyboards) have been the primary songwriters of the group since the very start.”
“We tried out a whole lot of folk music,” shares Panting. “Jambalaya, Bob Marley’s Stir It Up with pipes. We were a little whimsical about it, but oddly enough, as soon as we started doing our own stuff, the interest really took off. I was as surprised as anyone.”