If there’s anyone who understands the sweat and sacrifice that comes with being an independent musician in Canada, it’s Greg MacPherson. The acclaimed Winnipeg singer/songwriter has been making records, performing live and touring hard since 1996. Respected as much for his work ethic as he is for his music, he remains one of the 'last men standing' from Winnipeg's vibrant 1990s music scene and both his output and reputation have only gotten stronger over the years.
Independent throughout the ’90s, MacPherson joined the fiercely political Winnipeg imprint G7 Welcoming Committee Records in 2001, releasing three critically acclaimed albums, touring with many of the label's cornerstone bands and making a name for himself as a performance artist and songwriter, shoehorned into a hardcore world. MacPherson’s music is impossible to file under a single genre; his massive, unrelenting voice and unpredictable, magnetic performance style has allowed him to consistently produce innovative, boundary-pushing rock music and reach new ears in a wide variety of places, from punk rock basement shows to folk festivals to indie rock night clubs. There’s no room MacPherson can’t win over.
After the demise of G7 in 2008, MacPherson moved to Winnipeg’s Smallman Records and released 2010’s Polaris Music Prize-nominated Mr. Invitation, the final album to be released by Smallman Records in its 15 years as a label. MacPherson was a free agent once more, but his career continued to ramp up thanks to a long-standing partnership with Danish independent label, Play/Rec. That relationship led to numerous overseas tours, bolstering his profile across the pond, and two vinyl releases: 2007’s The Sun Beats Down — a collection of singles from MacPherson’s 1999-2005 catalogue — and 2011’s Disintegration Blues, a collection of unreleased recordings from 2003-2010.
Disintegration Blues proved to be a defining album in MacPherson’s career. The European release of that critically praised effort — along with numerous side projects and musical affiliations — led MacPherson to launch Disintegration Records with co-owner/longtime collaborator Cam Loeppky in January 2011. The Winnipeg-based label is both an avenue for MacPherson to release his own music and a home for some of the city’s most buzzed-about new bands — including Cannon Bros., whose breakout Polaris Music Prize-nominated debut Firecracker/Cloudglow is one of Disintegration Records’ flagship releases. Along with making vital albums of his own, MacPherson is ushering in a new generation of young, hungry musicians with great big voices — lending truth to the adage that it takes one to know one.