From one episode to the next, Yellowstone is becoming as much a cultural defining of Western country music as it is the Modern Western genre.
Season 4, Episode 4, “Winning or Learning,” is no different. While some fans may not be thrilled with the sheer amount of focus being placed on Travis (Taylor Sheridan) and his horses, at least the soundtrack is killer.
Songs from ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4 Episode 4 ‘Winning or Learning’
On the flip side, Yellowstone doesn’t miss when it comes to action, intrigue, and suspense. The show’s music supervisor, Andrea Von Foerster, also doesn’t miss. She’s responsible for said killer soundtrack, and she’s packed “Winning or Learning” with some great country music from across the decades.
Shane Smith & the Saints Return to ‘Yellowstone’
Yellowstone featured Shane Smith & the Saints’ “All I See Is You” for the second week in a row. This week, the Texas-based band’s song played as the episode opened. Something about the devotion and longing in that song really fits the tone of these first episodes of Season 4.
As fans will have noted by this point, “All I See Is You” has become an anthem of sorts for Jimmy Hurdstrom. Throughout his banishment from The Yellowstone, loss of Mia, and now his first steps into Texas life, it’s Shane Smith & the Saints ripping in the background.
‘The Low Road’ – Shooter Jennings
Shooter Jennings, singer-songwriter, producer, and son of Outlaw Country legends Jessi Colter and Waylon Jennings added a song to the most recent episode of Yellowstone. Fans heard the song “The Low Road” from Shooter’s 2013 album The Other Life. You could almost see hands at the Dutton Ranch cranking this tune before the manure hits the fan. Sonically, it also harkens back to Shooter’s Outlaw parentage with a classic rock-infused country sound with a little bit of banjo thrown in for good measure. Lyrically, it’s about pushing to your limits and “taking the low road” every now and then.
“My daddy always told me do the best that you can/ To be a kind-hearted, sensitive, hard-workin’ man. / But if the high road is closed and the lightning’s comin’ down / Sometimes you gotta man up and take the low road around.”
‘Hands on the Wheel’ – Willie Nelson
Shooter Jennings wasn’t the only Outlaw Country artist to make an appearance on this episode of Yellowstone. Willie Nelson, one of the originators of the Outlaw movement, also rings out in “Winning or Learning”. It’s classic “Hands on the Wheel” from Willie’s iconic 1975 album Red-Headed Stranger we hear echoing. And it closes out the episode as Jimmy meets the beginning of the rest of his life down in Texas.
Sonically, “Hands on the Wheel” is classic Willie Nelson. It’s a slow waltz featuring Trigger’s timeless tone and Willie’s instantly-recognizable voice. Lyrically, it’s a love song about a man who has tried it all and finally found himself in the woman he loves.
“I looked to the stars, tried all of the bars. / And I’ve nearly gone up in smoke. / Now my hand’s on the wheel, I’ve something that’s real. / And I feel like I’m goin’ home.”