Aside from being the soundtrack to the famous Season 5 Yellowstone brawl, country musician Isaac Hoskins is making 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 began 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, kicking off a brawl that’s become one of Season 5's — and the entire series — most iconic scenes.
Next to the woman caught on the bad end of the swinging bottle, the most unsuspecting onlooker to the modern day Road House moment was Isaac Hoskins. After a performance of “Smell Like Smoke” from Abby (Lainey Wilson), the Texas-based songwriter took the stage and began digging into his song “Off the Wagon” when all hell broke loose.
Despite the final edit of the fight hardly lasting 20 seconds, Hoskins recalls being on set and running through his song over and over for an entire day to get all the footage needed. Even with the long day he reveled in the moment spending time with the cast and getting a behind-the-scenes look at how a television set works.
“With all of the footage we recorded, that fight could’ve lasted for the entire episode if they wanted it to,” Hoskins tells C&I. “Director Christina Voros asked what I’d normally do if something like this happened during a show and I joked that I’d just keep playing if I was being paid enough. This led to the cameras getting some funny shots of bewilderment from me as I sang from the stage and observed the brawl acting out in front of me.”
The surprising bar scene follows a serendipitous one for Hoskins that took place nearly three years prior. While performing at the Magnolia Motor Lounge in Fort Worth on Oct. 25, 2019, he met Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan, who was out with his wife, Nicole, and on their way to meet up with friends when they stumbled into the wrong honky-tonk. Sheridan quickly took a liking to Hoskins’ music and introduced himself during a break in the show.
The two stayed in touch and over the next couple of years discussed the possibility of Hoskins' music getting a spot on the hit Paramount+ show. It wasn’t until June of last year that Hoskins got word it was finally going to happen. Less than a month later, Hoskins and his wife flew out to Montana on July 4 to join the set, where they remained 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. “I’ve done my homework since to catch up on the show and have come to love it. I’m grateful for how much it has already benefited my music career in such a short amount of time.”
To maximize the effect of the uptick in streams and listeners that often follows artists whose music is featured on the show, Hoskins bumped up the release of his album Bender — on which “Off The Wagon” appears — up from December 2 to November 18, two days prior to the episode’s premiere. The song itself is apropos for the reckless bar fight it accompanies given that it tells the story of an alcoholic struggling to keep the bottle at bay.
Hoskins says that while most of his songs stem from his own personal experiences, this one in particular was inspired by someone he met during his days working as a beer merchandiser in Lewisville, Texas.
“He had been through AA and a 12-step program but was still on and off the wagon constantly,” Hoskins says. “He and his girlfriend eventually had a disagreement that led to him disappearing for several days. I saw him about a week later and he told me his story, which minus going to Mexico, was exactly like Steve Earle’s ‘The 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’s taken jobs as a construction worker, ranch hand, bartender, and more to help supplement his music, further building out the independent, blue collar appeal that Yellowstone loves gravitating to with its soundtrack. (Another Hoskins tune, “H-Town Turnaround,” shows up a few weeks later in Episode 6 of Season 5 as background music while Abby sets up for her performance at the annual cattle round-up.)
“Getting to be a part of the show was an incredible experience that I won’t soon forget,” Hoskins says. “A lot of people now know my name who didn’t before, which leaves me excited about what the future may hold.”
To learn more about Isaac Hoskins and his music, head to his website and Spotify.