Jim Lindberg - Songs from the Elkhorn Trail (Cover Artwork)

Jim Lindberg

Songs from the Elkhorn Trail (2021)


The punk vocalist going solo has been done a number of times, Jim Lindberg is not the first. Best known as the vocalist for SoCal punk legends, Pennywise, 2021's Songs from the Elkhorn Trail is his first move into creating solo work. You won't find any hard-chargers on here or even anti-establishment sing-alongs as you might expect. It is a pretty pleasant turn into something very new for Lindberg.

The most common move for a punk singer going solo is more towards folk. We've seen this with Tim Barry, Chuck Ragan, Justin Sane, and dozens more. This is not an indictment on that work, but more to highlight how different this album from Lindberg is from his contemporaries.

No one would consider this a punk singer going folk. As he's gotten older, Lindberg now 56, has branched into some different directions outside of the Pennywise world. He's an author, he's appeared in movies, and appears to spend most of his time being a dad and a husband. Good on him. This album touches on the lighter content in terms of his lyrics while also being philosophical in nature. Rather than railing against authority and the other ills of society, he opts for stories and cheerier songs of solidarity ("You're Not Alone"). 

Musically the album is not just a man and his guitar. Throughout the album you'll hear some backing vocals, drums, bass, and even some horns for good measure. This won't stand up against Full Circle and it is not supposed to. It's an artist exploring the studio space a bit and trying some new things. This is an album that is punk in nature that you can play in mixed company. There is value there.