Long-time east coast Celtic rockers Rawlins Cross will play two Strait area shows, this Friday at the Chedabucto Place Performance Centre in Guysborough and on November 29 at the Strathspey Place Performing Arts Centre in Mabou.

ST. JOHN’S, NFLD: Two local venues will soon have the chance to enjoy a little Celtic rock as Rawlins Cross performs in Guysborough at the Chedabucto Place Performance Centre this Friday (October 18) and in Mabou at the Strathspey Place Performing Arts Centre on November 29.

“Having new music to perform really keeps it fresh for us,” said Ian McKinnon, one of the members of the six-person group.

“When you’re on stage performing brand-spanking new songs, there are some nerves that go into it as well. You want to make sure you’re nailing your part, and that’s good. It helps to get the adrenaline going.”

The guys will have some new tunes to unveil as, last Friday, the band released its tenth album, Flying Colours. Last week also saw the release of “I Wonder,” a single from the album. Other singles from Flying Colours include “Love Comes around the Corner” and “Island Nights.”

In August, “Island Nights” reached #4 on the iTunes Canada World Music chart.

With 10 albums released and 30 years of working together, guitarist Dave Panting said one of the challenges becomes whittling down their material to fit in a set list.

“We put together a balanced show, and our audience has come to expect a few surprises,” he said. “They like hearing the old stuff, but I don’t think they’re dogmatic about us playing the old songs.”

Panting said Flying Colours is a bit more of a collaborative album, as several members of the band offered new songs for the recording. He was very happy with the production of the album, which was recorded at Sound Temple in Halifax.

“Jon Landry of The Stanfields produced our last two records, and I find that relationship going very well,” he said. “You need that sort of relationship – someone from outside to have a look at things, but who knows what it’s like to be in a band and record.”

He also tipped his hat to the others involved in production. The album was mixed by Darren Van Niekerk (Matt Mays, Deep Dark Woods), mastered by Noah Mintz (Arkells, Sarah Harmer), and the album graphics are by Newfoundland artist, Adam Young.

McKinnon has deep connections to Inverness County, as his family is from MacKinnon’s Brook, his parents ran McKinnon Home Hardware in Port Hawkesbury for 20 years, and he graduated from SAERC. His family has a summer place in Broad Cove.

“So I have deep roots in the area, and I’m keen on getting back to Strathspey Place,” he said.

“The Guysborough show will be our first time there, but tickets have been flying out the door, so I expect we’ll have a full house.”

Having performed together for such a long time means that veteran fans and newcomers are both enjoying the music, and McKinnon said that’s a very nice thing to see.

Tickets for the Guysborough show are available by calling the box office at 902-533-2015 or popping on-line at: chedabuctoplacetheatre.com. Those looking to catch the Mabou show would be well-advised to call 902-945-5300 or visit www.strathspeyplace.com.