Flying Colours

Rawlins Cross

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Celebrating their 30th Anniversary this year, Atlantic Canada’s Celtic-rock group, Rawlins Cross, have released their tenth studio album, Flying Colours, and are on a Maritime tour. November 15 they perform at Charlottetown’s Florence Simmons Performance Hall. For tickets and show details, visit

Rawlins Cross was formed in St. John’s, Newfoundland in the late 1980s by songwriting brothers Dave Panting (guitar and mandolin), Geoff Panting (keyboards and accordion) and Ian McKinnon (highland pipes, tin whistle and bodhran). Other long-serving members are bassist and Chapman Stick player Brian Bourne, drummer Howie Southwood and singer Joey Kitson.

Members of the band live in different provinces and do their own things. Ian McKinnon runs Groundswell Records in Halifax. Dave Panting is an in-demand performer in Newfoundland while brother Geoff is into producing and live engineering. Joey Kitson on the faculty of the Holland College School of Performing Arts in Charlottetown. Brian Bourne teaches music in Halifax and drummer  Howie Southwood does carpentary in Ontario.

But when a consensus is reached for a new recording, everyone comes together. For this latest project, Flying Colours, the band gathered at the Sonic Temple studio in Halifax. Ian says, “We could rest on our laurels and perform our hits, but as creators—we create…we now record smaller projects (EPs), more often.”

Joey Kitson says that while songs by the Panting brothers still define the Rawlins Cross sound, he himself is evolving as a writer and bringing songs to the sessions.

Ian says that his creative role is still to contribute the instrumental tunes, but for this outing they were able to “workshop” his piece together in the studio and create the arrangement as a group effort. “Really cool,” he says.

For this Maritime tour Ian says that audiences should expect new material and crowd favourites. Flying Colours was produced by Jon Landry, lead vocalist and guitarist in The Stanfields, the album was mixed by Darren Van Niekerk ), mastered by Noah Mintz  with album graphics by Newfoundland artist, Adam Young.

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