Shane Smith and the Saints Are Basically The Official Band of Yellowstone
Yellowstone has always had music in its DNA. Throughout the show’s first four seasons, Taylor Sheridan’s smash hit Western has featured country and rock artists like Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson, and Chris Stapleton, among many others, allowing the show’s depiction of the modern American west to have a musical accompaniment that matches accordingly. It’s also found roles for major musicians like Ryan Bingham (who plays Walker) and, more recently, Lainey Wilson (who plays new character Abby in Season 5). Music has been a big part of Yellowstone from the jump.
So it makes sense, naturally, to come to the realization that for someone who clearly enjoys music, Yellowstone maestro Taylor Sheridan must have a favorite band, right? You may recall that the third episode of Yellowstone Season 4, titled “All I See Is You,” featured a tribute to the late singer-songwriter John Prine. That tribute came right after the show played a song called—wait for it—”All I See Is You,” by “Shane Smith and the fuckin’ Saints,” as Sheridan’s own recurring character, the horse trainer Travis, called them just as he drove off.
That song, to put it lightly, slaps. For Sheridan to both name the episode after the song and for his own character to give Shane Smith and the Saints such high praise…well, it’s a little window into how much the man behind the Dutton-verse probably enjoys their infectious brand of music that rides the line between country and rock.
As if that wasn’t enough, when the opportunity for some in-universe live music came up in the Season 5 Yellowstone premiere, titled “One Hundred Years Is Nothing,” playing the party celebrating John Dutton’s inauguration as Governor of Montana, who else would show up in the flesh? That’s right: Shane Smith and the Saints. If Yellowstone has the opportunity to bring these guys in, they’re going to bring these guys in.
The band that played in Yellowstone‘s Season 5 premiere was Shane Smith and the Saints.
Hailing from Austin, Shane Smith and the Saints is a five-piece band that formed in 2011 and has released four studio albums. The band consists of Shane Smith himself writing the songs and performing vocals, along with Bennett Brown on fiddle, Dustin Schaefer on guitar, Chase Satterwhite playing bass, and Zach Stover playing drums.
At the party, the band is heard in the episode playing three songs. The first is “Fire in the Ocean” (the band’s newest single, released in 2022), and “Alex,” from their 2013 album Coast plays softly in a later scene.
However, the one you most want to know is probably the one Smith, in his between-songs banter, refers to as a “dancing song.” That would be “Dance the Night Away,” also off Coast. And it is, unpredictably, also a jam.
Smith, in an interview with Wide Open Country, explained how important it’s been for his band to be featured on Yellowstone.
It’s been incredible and we’re very appreciative of the opportunity. Taylor Sheridan is doing so much for independent musicians that, in many cases, would have a really difficult time achieving those type of TV placements without a label behind them. Over the last 10 years, we’ve worked really, really hard to get where we are and have never been featured on any show or film before. Every fan we’ve made up to this point has primarily been through shows and touring, which requires tons of time away from home and sacrifice. This placement has given us such a massive boost, without all of that effort and it just means a LOT.
It’s really cool to see that Sheridan’s show is able to create these sorts of symbiotic relationships; Yellowstone is better for having some great songs on its soundtrack, fans are able to find some great songs they may have never found before, and musicians can start getting—as Shane Smith and the Saints have gotten—the Yellowstone bump.
Here’s to a few more Saints songs making their way from Austin to Montana.
Evan is the culture editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE. He loves weird movies, watches too much TV, and listens to music more often than he doesn’t.
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