Joey Kitson is the frontman for Rawlins Cross.
For years his deep, distinctive voice has brought the Celtic rock band’s music to life, but recently he’s showing his songwriter’s side.
I was excited to find his composition, “Hold You Tonight”, on the group’s new album, “Rock Steady”, which was released by GroundSwell Music, earlier this month.
It’s the second track.
“It’s the first time I’ve had an original song on a Rawlins Cross album. It’s probably due to my insecurity of being a songwriter and being in the presence of (songwriting giants) like Geoff Panting, Dave Panting and Brian Bourne, who have provided material for previous albums,” Kitson tells me.
But after two decades or more working with the band, any self-doubt is gone.
“I’ve written songs in other genres and with Rawlins Cross you need to have a sense of the band’s unique sound,” says Kitson, who had “Hold You Tonight” saved on his computer for a few years.
When the band was looking for material for the new album, he thought maybe it was something they could use.
“Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been with the band so long they’ve had an influence on me.”
The song is about running into an old love interest, knowing that someone is waiting at home. “It’s the idea of a missed opportunity or reflecting on what could have been, whether it’s positive or negative. And although it’s nice to revisit it, it’s nice to get back to reality.”
Kitson is not the only one enjoying the opportunity to provide new tunes for the CD.
“We have contributions from pretty well everyone. We've got the classic Dave Panting songs. We’ve got a Geoff Panting song and we have a great Brian Bourne track. Then Ian McKinnon and the producer, Jon Landry and Geoff have collaborated on a new song. So we have a good mixture of material.”
One of Canada’s best loved Celtic bands, Rawlins Cross has rekindled its magic with a six-track EP, “Rock Steady”, information in the liner notes states. It is co-produced by Jon Landry and Geoff Panting.
The band burst onto the East Coast music scene more than 25 years ago with their album, “Turn of the Wheel” and, over the years has recorded eight albums, toured Canada, the United States and Europe.
Band members’ work has resulted in two Juno nominations, numerous wins at the East Coast Music Awards.
But, for Kitson, making the switch from frontman to songwriter is “daunting.”
“To get up stage in front of people to perform is one barrier you have to overcome. But being an interpreter of songs plus presenting your own works is an idea I’ve been avoiding for years. But I’m pushing 50 and it’s better late than ever.”
As for the future, expect more songs to come.
“I’m talking to my own children, trying to inspire them to write their own material so I have to lead by example.”
- What: “Rock Steady”.
- Details: A new EP from the Celtic rock group, Rawlins Cross.
- Copies: Available from iTunes, CD Baby, Band Camp or from the band website, http://www.rawlinscross.com.
- Performances: Expect a tour in mid-April in Atlantic Canada, concert dates in Ontario in May and festivals in Western Canada this coming summer.
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Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at sally.cole@TheGuardian.pe.ca or by phone at 902-629-6000, ext. 6054.