he name Three Gut Records may be new terrain for anyone outside of Canada, but if you ask any serious music fans in their home of Toronto what exactly Three Gut is, chances are, youll get an enthusiastic response. Its not so much that the record label has taken the city by storm, but it has provided people with releases by a wide array of the most talented musicians in Canada.
Formed way back in 1999, Three Gut was a project by two lovely ladies looking to put their creative juices to work. Lisa Moran, the labels manager, and Tyler Clark Burke, creative and promotions director, set forth to deliver quality releases in a modest way. The artwork and packaging that accompanies the CDs is both stunning and original. Its easy to see why so many heads have turned to their attention.
Like the best labels out there, Three Gut does not have a distinct sound, opting for a diverse range of talent to represent them. Royal City captures Canadiana at its finest, with haunting melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Hinting at the likes of Neil Young and Buffalo Springfield, Will Oldham and The Band, their two albums on Three Gut, 2000s At Rush Hour Cars and 2001s Alone At The Microphone, have caused stirs in both halves of North America. The Constantines are at the other end of the spectrum, causing ruckuses with their own style of straight-faced, angular punk rock. Reminiscent of visionaries like The Clash and Fugazi, this band has plenty of grit with enough swagger to get the feet tapping. Jim Guthrie, guitarist with Royal City, also does his own thing on the side. Making some of the quirkiest pop music imaginable, his knack for creating music with his Sony Playstation is as enjoyable as it seems. Gentleman Reg, also a member of gay-church-folksters The Hidden Cameras, is another pop intellect, yet very different in his own right. Providing Three Gut with its most beautiful music to date, Reg is every bit the delicate flower that Nick Drake was. Cuff The Duke, the labels newest signings, factor in both alt.country and shimmering pop arrangements with some truly deep subject matter.
While the roster remains to be quite moderate at the moment (five artists), the label seems to adding new acts at a wise pace (one in 2002). With the critical acclaim that seems to follow every record they put out, Moran and Burke have a good thing going with their quaint community.
Label Roster: The Constantines, Royal City, Jim Guthrie, Gentleman Reg, Cuff The Duke
Five Essential Releases:
Royal City Alone At The Microphone
The Constantines The Constantines
Jim Guthrie A Thousand Songs
Gentleman Reg Make Me Pretty
Cuff The Duke Life Stories For Minimum Wage
By: Cam Lindsay
Published on: 2003-09-01