‘Yellowstone’ Producer Reveals How They Pick Music for the Show

by Blake Ells

“Songs of ‘Yellowstone‘” was an AmericanaFest panel discussion held at the Hutton Hotel on Wednesday. Lainey Wilson, Hayes Carll and William Prince performed in-the-round, and they each shared their songs that had been used on the show. Angela von Forester moderated the event. She’s the show’s music supervisor. She’s the person that crafts the sound of Taylor Sheridan’s universe. And she’s incredible at her job.

As she began to introduce the first artist in-the-round, William Prince, she accidentally revealed just how good she is at it.

“I found out about William from YouTube, so I emailed the address that I found,” she said. “I got a reply from a label and they’re like, ‘The ink isn’t even dry yet.'”

She visited Nashville on a “scouting trip” to find new music. Angela was determined not to have “pop country” on her show. She insisted that their sound was much more “Red Dirt.”

“We use very strong vocals,” she said. “Everyone on this stage is a very strong vocal person. But songs have to fit the show. It’s not a playlist. You have to wait. Sometimes it takes a couple of years, but I never forget a song that I want to use.”

William Prince is eager to have another track included on the show. And he’d like to find his way on to the show as a character. His “All I Know” appeared in a recent episode.

“If you ever need a Native son to get run over by a four wheeler or something…” he began, to audience laughter. “I’d love to die on Yellowstone.”

‘Yellowstone’ Loves Lainey Wilson

The Yellowstone music supervisor continued by praising the show’s newest cast member, Lainey Wilson.

“Every time we had a badass scene, every time…Lainey,” she said. “We tend to use a lot of sad songs, but when we need energy, finding something that sounds tough and has energy is difficult. And Lainey is ballsy.”

“I’ll take the word ballsy,” Lainey laughed. “I’ll take that.”

The producers of Yellowstone are fiercely loyal to their people.

“We keep a small circle,” von Forester said. “We love our people. There’s something about the authenticity of everyone’s voice on this stage that speaks to the authenticity of Taylor’s writing.”

But just because they love “their people,” it doesn’t mean they aren’t always on the search for new voices. She made an open call to any musicians that might be among the 300 audience members at the venue.

“We’re always looking,” she said. “We found everyone on this stage in a different way and there’s no right way to do it.”

The fifth season of Yellowstone debuts on Sunday, November 13. Lainey Wilson portrays “Abby” on the show, and she’ll have one of her latest tracks featured. Hayes Carll has a track on the season, too.