Tyler Farr’s ‘A Guy Walks Into a Bar’ Turned Competition With Blake Shelton Into Friendship
Tyler Farr jokes that Blake Shelton has so many hits, television commercials and other accomplishments that he didn't need "A Guy Walks Into a Bar." Still, Farr had to fight for it. That "fight" led to a friendship with a man the Missouri native says he's been a fan of for over a decade.
Farr jokes that he had to leg wrestle Shelton to get the song, but the real story isn't that physical — it was actually settled on Miranda Lambert's Airstream trailer. Both men wanted it. Both men had it on hold, meaning it was theirs to record. But Farr wanted it a little more.
During his No. 1 party at Winner's Bar and Grill in Nashville (the most appropriate location for this celebration), the relative newcomer recalls how that conversation turned to friendship, saying, “When we really hit it off is when we talked about this song and he came running to the bus yelling ‘Song Stealer!’”
We just put country music out there and hoped radio would play it and go from there.
It's never quite clear when Farr is being serious or when his dry sense of humor is leaking out, but one gets the impression that detail is accurate. This one may not be: “It wasn’t easy arm wrestling Blake Shelton for this ... although my biceps are bigger than his.”
Songwriter Jonathan Singleton recalls Farr asking him for it immediately after a performance at Winner's. Farr just ambled up and asked, and because Singleton's publisher was nearby, they worked it out on the spot. However, Shelton had also struck a deal with one of the other writers' publishing company (Melissa Pierce and Brad Tursi joined Singleton), so there was a dilemma.
In the end, Farr played his version of the hit for Shelton, who told him he owned it and from that point forward, he actually owned it. "That’s what separates country music from any other genre," Farr says. "There’s a lot of camaraderie."
"A Guy Walks Into a Bar" is Farr's third No. 1 hit, and it's clear he's hoping the current single "Withdrawals" becomes his fourth. The big, soaring ballad is straight-forward country, which is how the 31-year-old wants to define his music. Both songs come from the Suffer in Peace album, available now. Both are also a little ironic, as he's just gotten engaged and therefore is anything but the "King of Heartbreak" he's been labeled in magazines.
“(That) Made my fiancée really happy," Farr says joking, or not. "Our job as artists is to make people feel something. You put people in that place and make artists feel something, whether it’s goosebumps, crying, laughing ... and that’s what I had to do to get that reaction.”
Look for Farr on tour with Jason Aldean this summer. His Suffer in Peace album made Taste of Country's list of the Top 10 albums of 2015 (so far).
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