BJ Barham To Critics Of Evan Felker’s Sobriety: “Y’all Can Miss Me With This Whole ‘It Ain’t The Same If He’s Sober’ Bullsh*t”

Evan Felker BJ Barham country music
David McClister/Joshua Black Wilkins

People truly never cease to amaze me.

After the recent, INCREDIBLE news that the Turnpike Troubadours are officially getting the band back together, frontman Evan Felker also shared a little bit about his road to sobriety.

Since their hiatus began over two years ago now, Evan went to rehab for alcohol abuse and was able to find a new, fulfilling life in Texas with his wife and daughter. Regardless of the fact that he makes incredible music that resonates with so many different people, that’s an incredible accomplishment for anyone who struggles with alcohol.

But with the internet being the internet, there were quite a few tweets floating around with people essentially saying that Evan and his band won’t be the same now that he was sober… it’s disgusting.

For some reason, it has become an inevitable comment whenever an artists reveals their newfound sobriety… and it’s total bullshit.

Even though Evan and his fiddle player Kyle Nix are now sober and much happier and healthier human beings as a result, there are a few people out there who feel like that will negatively impact the music or live shows. As if to suggest that alcohol is the reason they were so damn good to begin with.

You know what, though, I tend to agree with that sentiment… it definitely will not be the same, and that’s a really GOOD thing. For them as a band, but more importantly, for them as human beings.

But, the question of the sobriety of some of the band members being anything but a positive thing is absolutely absurd and unfounded. If you, or someone you know someone personally, have struggled with an alcohol or drug addiction, then you know just how dark and scary that whole situation can be.

BJ Barham, who’s the frontman of American Aquarium and a friend of Turnpike, is coming to put an end to that nonsense:

“Y’all can miss me with this whole ‘it ain’t the same if he’s sober’ bullshit. I’m so proud of Turnpike Troubadours for taking the personal time they needed to get happy & healthy.

Can’t wait to see these songs clear eyed. Gonna be special. Long live the Turnpike Fucking Troubadours!”

BJ has also dealt with his own alcohol addiction in the past, which makes it all the more personal for him and his friend Evan. And he’s a perfect example of the fact that his music has not suffered as a result of his sobriety.

I mean, Lamentations was one of the best albums in all of 2020, and with Chicamacomico on the way soon, I’m certain it will be equally as good, if not better.

BJ opened up about his struggle, saying that getting sober took away a lot of the things that caused him the most heartache in his life:

“I never could have admitted (those things) when I was drinking; I never could have admitted them when I was putting a bag of blow up my nose every night. I could never admit that I was the problem.

You never hear anybody say, ‘I got sober, and my life went to (hell)!’ When you get sober, you take away all of the things that cause your problems.

Before, fidelity was my biggest problem, and drinking made it a lot easier to give in to those temptations. When I got sober, I stopped relying on things to feel better about myself.”

And, not only did it help him get back into a healthier headspace, he became a much better version of himself when he quit drinking:

“I’d like to think I’m a better person. Some people will tell you different, but I can sleep at night.

I like myself now, I really do, and I don’t feel like I have to drink to be a happy person.”

Oh, and guess what?

He still writes a damn good, sad country song. Perhaps even better than before…

Because at the end of the day, whether you have a beer in your hand or not… it’s the music and the human experience that brings us all together:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock