Joe Diffie makes a triumphant return to the honky tonk with his new song, “As Long As There’s a Bar,” which premieres today. The lively, hard-twanging tune is the singer’s latest release from an upcoming album and has some echoes of his Nineties commercial peak, when he extolled his affection for barrooms in “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die).”
“I thought ‘Hey, that song did good. Let’s do this one too!'” says Diffie, laughing. “I like it because I think a lot of people feel that way. As long as there’s a bar, I’ve got friends.”
In the new song, written by Jessica Pearson, Galen Griffin, and former Trick Pony member Keith Burns, Diffie — in fine voice as usual — casts the bar as a place where “you’re surrounded by your friends, the good times never end, and you’ll never be alone.” A series of familiar images drift by: patrons yelling out to crank up a Skynyrd tune, servers selling Jello shots, and requests for one more round, while fiddle and chicken-picked Telecaster drive things forward.
In the last year, Diffie has also released the singles “I Got This” and “Quit You,” which showed off his stylistic range and even demonstrated how his voice would work when set against contemporary country production. There’s no official release date just yet for Diffie’s next album, which would be his first full-length solo release since 2010’s Homecoming, but he says he tried to stick to the fundamentals this time around.
“I just like the songs themselves,” he says. “I went that route — finding songs I really liked and that I related to. Really, it’s not any more complicated than that.”