Inside the Music of Yellowstone: Isaac Hoskins

Besides being the soundtrack to the famous season 5 Yellowstone brawl, country musician Isaac Hoskins leaves his mark on the soundtrack of the West.

You don’t mess with Beth Dutton, and you definitely don’t try to steal her man. When a visiting Californian started flirting with Rip at a Bozeman bar, the firecracker blonde took matters into her own hands by taking a bottle to the unsuspecting lady’s face, setting the of the fight that became one of Season 5’s — and the entire series’ — most iconic scenes.

To the woman caught on the wrong end of the swinging bottle, the most unsuspecting bystander of modern times Road House moment was Isaac Hoskins. After a performance of “Smell Like Smoke” by Abby (Lainey Wilson), the Texas-based songwriter took the stage and began digging into his song “Off the Wagon” when all hell broke loose.

Although the final edit of the fight was only 20 seconds long, Hoskins remembers being on set and going over his song over and over for an entire day to get all the shots he needed. Despite the long day, he enjoyed spending time with the cast and getting a behind-the-scenes look at how a TV works.

“With all the footage we shot, that fight could have been the whole episode if they wanted it to be,” Hoskins says. C&I. “Director Kristina Voros asked me what I would normally do if something like this happened during a show and I joked that I would just keep acting if I was paid enough. This led to the cameras getting some funny shots of my bewilderment as I sang from the stage and watched the fight unfold in front of me.’

The surprising bar scene follows a random scene for Hoskins that happened almost three years ago. While performing at the Magnolia Motor Lounge in Fort Worth on October 25, 2019, he met Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan, who was out with his wife, Nicole, on their way to meet friends when they stumbled upon the wrong honky-tonk. Sheridan quickly took a liking to Hoskins’ music and performed during a break in the show.

The two stayed in touch and over the next few years discussed the possibility of Hoskins’ music getting a spot on the hit show Paramount+. It wasn’t until last June that Hoskins got word that it was finally going to happen. Less than a month later, Hoskins and his wife flew to Montana on July 4 to join the set, where they stayed for three days.

“When I first met Taylor, I had heard of the show but had never seen it,” says Hoskins, who at the time knew Sheridan from his role on the FX series Sons of Anarchy. “Since then, I’ve done my homework to catch up on the show and I’ve come to love it. I’m grateful for how much it has benefited my music career in such a short time.”

To maximize the impact of the increase in streams and listeners who often follow artists whose music is featured on the show, Hoskins has accelerated the release of his album Bender — on which “Off The Wagon” appears — from Dec. 2 to Nov. 18, two days before the episode premieres. The song itself is fitting for the reckless bar fight it accompanies, given that it tells the story of an alcoholic struggling to hold onto the bottle.

Hoskins says that while most of his songs stem from his personal experiences, this one in particular was inspired by someone he met during his days working as a beer salesman in Louisville, Texas.

“He had been through AA and a 12-step program, but he was still constantly on and off the wagon,” Hoskins says. “He and his girlfriend ended up having a falling out that caused him to disappear for a few days. I saw him about a week later and he told me his story, which without going to Mexico was just like Steve Earle’s ‘Week of Living Dangerously.’

Born in Oklahoma and raised in Kansas, Hoskins has lived in the college town of Denton, Texas, for the past 20 years. During that time, he worked as a construction worker, ranch hand, bartender, and more to supplement his music, further building the appeal of the freelancers who Yellowstone likes to gravitate with its soundtrack. (Another Hoskins tune, “H-Town Turnaround,” appears a few weeks later in Season 5 Episode 6 as background music as Abby prepares for her performance at the annual cattle drive.)

“Being a part of the show was an amazing experience that I won’t soon forget,” says Hoskins. “A lot of people know my name now, but not before, which makes me excited for what the future might hold.”

To learn more about Isaac Hoskins and his music, visit his website and Spotify.

Want to hear more from Yellowstonethe musicians of? Stay tuned for our conversations with Senora May, Shane Smith & The Saints and Lainey Wilson.

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