INTERVIEW: Bar Jay Bar Discusses Brand-New Single, “Ain’t No Friend Of Mine” and Summer Tour

Calling Sheridan, WY home is adventurous touring musician and vegetable farmer, Joey Berglund (AKA Bar Jay Bar).

Known for his wild acrobatic routines, fiddle sawing skills and high-energy live shows, Berglund is quickly making a name for himself in the neotraditional country, roots/Americana scene.

Today (July 1st), the musician is following up his poignant track, “The Leather Man,” with his brand-new single, “Ain’t No Friend Of Mine”.

While he was out in the middle of Trout Lake, WA, I caught up with Berglund to discuss his new single and his summer tour.

Featured: Graphic from Bar Jay Bar's All Hat, No Cattle Tour.

For those unfamiliar with Berglund, he started playing music in college in Connecticut when he was 19-20 years old. At the time, a college professor on LinkedIn connected him with a group of students who played fiddle in an assemble and the clawhammer banjo. Together they formed his first band called Square Dance.

In the years since, he’s toured nationwide across the United States and released 4 singles. 

Featured: Joey Berglund (Bar Jay Bar) playing the fiddle in a stack of hay.

The story of how “Ain’t No Friend Of Mine” came to be is an interesting one, fitting of a country outlaw. Berglund and his full band (this time with Jordan Wilson, Hank Stanton & Bunny) were out on tour, playing in the small mountain town of Forest Hill. A couple in the audience owned a bar out in Two Bridges, Montana. Fans of their music, the couple invited the group of friends to play out there the next day. Joey agreed, but there was only one problem. A problem that, he didn’t share with the couple or his band– they didn’t have enough funds to foot the gas needed to travel from Forest Hill to Two Bridges. With time ticking away, he had to quickly come up with a solution.

“A man at the bar came around asking the bargoers to play ‘Shake-A-Die’, which is kind of like Yahtzee. There are 5 dice in the cup, and everyone buys in. The lowest numbers rolled win. These die were a 50-cent buy-in. I took the gamble. I shook the cup, and ended up winning the lot… which was 666$ USD.” He adds, “Whether it was good luck, God, the universe or something else, there were higher forces at play that day” (Berglund). 

The money was won just in time to buy gas, travel to the bar and make their show– the whole time the band was none the wiser.

“While we were driving back from Two Bridges, Montana we saw a governor was dedicating a building. So we stopped and watched the ceremony. That’s when Jordan started singing the chorus of ‘Ain’t No Friend Of Mine’– the rest fell into place after that” (Berglund).

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Bar Jay Bar (Joey Berglund) (@barjaybar)

“Ain’t No Friend Of Mine” was recorded by Max Harms at the reknowned The Garage studio in Central Arizona. Harms is also featured on the track, playing the drums. On bass is Red McAdam, who previously toured with Berglund. 

According to Berglund, the ideal setting to listen to the track is, “Classic, thinking about his friends at home at the local dive bar, the camaraderie of all the folks one might surround themselves with” (Berglund).

Featured: Joey Berglund (Bar Jay Bar) playing the guitar on top of his band member's shoulders at one of his live shows.
Featured: Joey Berglund (Bar Jay Bar) sitting next to a horse.

This July, Berglund and his band are continuing their summer tour, with 9 dates across the United States.

Neotraditional country & roots/Americana fans will not want to miss out on his live shows, which include live acrobatics. From hanging from the rafters, playing upside down to having his fiddle player play the cello on top of his shoulders, it’s truly something to behold. As he shares,

“The live show has developed a lot over the years, it used to be pretty standard. For this tour, I’m currently on its solo and being shared with Wilson, a mix of the acrobatic schtick plus dropping the guitar on unexpecting audience members. A comedy” (Berglund).

If you want to be hit with a guitar or good music, you should grab your tickets to one of Bar Jay Bar’s upcoming shows.

Upcoming Live Shows

Listen to "Ain't No Friend Of Mine" Now:

Stay up to Date with Bar Jay Bar:

Works Cited

Berglund, Joey. Interview conducted by Kyla Pearson. Feb 27 2024.

Unknown. “Featured: Graphic from Bar Jay Bar’s All Hat, No Cattle Tour.”. Courtesy of Joey Berglund. Accessed Feb 26 2024.

Unknown. Featured: Joey Berglund (Bar Jay Bar) playing the fiddle in a stack of hay.”. Courtesy of Joey Berglund. Accessed Feb 26 2024.

Unknown. “Featured: Joey Berglund (Bar Jay Bar) playing the guitar on top of his band member’s shoulders at one of his live shows.”. Courtesy of Joey Berglund. Accessed Feb 26 2024.

Unknown. “Featured: Joey Berglund (Bar Jay Bar) sitting next to a horse.”. Courtesy of Joey Berglund. Accessed Feb 26 2024.

Unknown. “Featured: Joey Berglund (Bar Jay Bar)”. Courtesy of Joey Berglund. Accessed Feb 26 2024.

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