In Deed: Everest

Purchase “Everest” from Big Stir Records or stream it on Spotify.

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In September 2019, my daily writing about music on Twitter led to my crossing paths with Rex Broome and Christina Bulbenko, and their record label Big Stir Records. What arose from the initial interactions was my mind, thoroughly blown, after discovering the staggering amount of diverse and wonderful talent associate with the label. It is an Indie Oasis, a community of anything and everything you may wish to define as “great music.”

One of the first releases I reviewed was “Big Stir Singles: The Third Wave.” One of the artists that most impressed me was In Deed, represented by two tracks on the sampler. After writing the review, I obtained a copy of their album “Everest.” This is a true rarity, folks…a sparkling diamond washed up on the Summer sands of the beach we like to call “The Music Industry.” With the plethora of major label and indie releases for music lovers to choose from, this album is a fresh and distinctive instant classic that belongs in your collection.

In Deed fits in well with the overall tone of the Big Stir label, offering a blend of folk rock and jangle pop, What makes them stand out is lead vocalist Linda Karlsberg,

In the 1967 Summer Of Love, which set an indelible template that many bands continue to follow, there were several distinct approaches from bands that features a female lead vocalist.

There was, of course, Janis Joplin, High Priestess of blues howling and raw power. Somewhat less known on a national scale, but in a similar vein and also held in high acclaim, was Lydia Pense of Cold Blood. There was, of course. the Queen of Fire and Ice, Grace Slick, who could lull you into euphoria with sweet and gentle tunes and then rip you asunder as her voice rose high above her harmonizing male compatriots.

Then there was It’s A Beautiful Day.

On the classic eponymous album, “White Bird” became a touchstone for the entire “Peace & Love” movement, the Woodstock Generation, and free spirits coast to coast. The success and staying power of It’s A Beautiful Day was due, in no small part, to vocalist Linda LaFlamme.

A half century after It’s A Beautiful Day made its mark, a different Linda has become a stunning example of how to gracefully maintain a presence that can hold its own in front of a two-guitar, bass and drums backdrop.

Power is great…it energizes us, fills us with adrenaline and motivation. Serenity is equally fantastic as it calms us, allows us to recharge and re-invigorate.

But it is a rare singer indeed (no pun intended) who can find a presence strong enough to front a rock and roll band, to crackle with energy, and electricity, and light, and wonder, and joy, all while coming from a peaceful and serene center,

Linda LaFlamme was one of those rare singers.

Linda Karlsberg is another.

In Deed are Linda Karlsberg (vocals), Marcus Segersvärd (drums), and Richard Öhrn (guitar), Jens Siilakka (bass guitar) and Johan Helander (keyboard/guitar).

I’m going to eschew my customary track-by-track reflections for this album, because I don’t want anything to diminish the joy of discovery awaiting you during the first jangly notes of the opening track, “Another Start,” and the remaining 12 songs on “Everest.” The album is pure power pop, infused with moments of punky exuberance and ringing guitars. They are one of the finest bands on Big Stir’s roster, and one that I guarantee you will enjoy.