If there's one thing the average Cape Bretoner loves it's great Celtic music, and when it's Celtic Rock-look out-the party has started! From way back in 1989 when Rawlins Cross released their ode to the party girl "Colleen" their fusion of Rock and Roll, Celtic and World music was refreshing and exciting.
Later on the band released what I consider the ultimate 9 to 5 - then party song: "Reel'N'Roll", the vocals on this song always made me imagine Bruce Springsteen or Warren Zevon singing it, music doesn't get much better than this. As for some of the other songs on this CD, "Wild Rose" is a downright foot stomping treat and "Forever Dancing" would charm the shoes off a mannequin. To be honest though, the band is not one-dimensional, a number of the songs on this CD would be perfectly at home on a Blue Rodeo album, such as "The Long Way Home" and "The Near Dearly Departed". You'll also hear similarities to Jimmy Rankin's style of music on "Make The Change" and "You Will Always Have My Love"; for the most part even though these songs would be more at home on Adult Contemporary and Country charts, the band is known for, and never shies away from, tradition-and that's evident here with the wonderful new recording "My Eliza/Rawlins Return/Old Friends/Lt.McGuire's", this slow air/hornpipe/jig combo is fun and frolicking and will make you think of St. John's and Dublin; by the time the pipes come in, you're hearing what Celtic Rock is at it's best and your feet will thank you for the chance to tap away.
Of course, what Rawlins Cross collection would be complete without the inclusion of "Long Night", a musical eulogy to Emile Benoit and Noel Dinn, both of who greatly influenced Newfoundland's music and it's musicians.
In all there are 16 songs on this CD, with 3 new ones included. The fan favourites are all here so it is indeed a proper anthology and well worth buying. The band took a leave of absence from the music scene for six years, and this is an incredible return.