How ‘Yellowstone’ Went Above & Beyond to Help Zach Bryan

The Paramount Network series Yellowstone starts its 4th season on November 7th, and as has been highlighted many times previously, it’s a show that shows strong support for independent and up-and-coming country artists through the production’s soundtrack. Yellowstone‘s support of these artists has been significant due to the popularity of the show, turning viewers onto music they might otherwise not be exposed to. Yellowstone is very much a player in the independent country insurrection we’ve been experiencing over the last few years.

But the support of independent music from the show actually went above and beyond for one artist, according to the show’s music supervisor Andrea von Foerster.

Speaking recently to LB Cantrell of Music Row, Andrea von Foerster said, “We have such a solid fan base that really loves the music. I always want to keep introducing everyone to new artists or local artists that they know and love. We certainly don’t overlook major label artists, we love Chris Stapleton like no other, but it’s nice to give a leg up to the up-and-coming folks.”

Andrea von Foerster and Yellowstone did that in a very specific way after she found out about songwriter Zach Bryan. Like many of us, Foerster was clued into Bryan through his viral videos and such, but was worried that the homespun recordings of his first album DeAnn captured in an AirBNB would not be up to snuff for primetime. So Foerster went quite above and beyond the call of duty, putting Zach Bryan in touch with producer Dave Cobb so studio recordings of some of his songs cut be cut and appear in the Yellowstone soundtrack.

“I asked Zach if I could pair him with a colleague of mine, Dave Cobb,” Andrea says. “His management got him to Nashville, he recorded with Dave Cobb, and we used ‘Condemned’ at the end of one of our episodes.”

Zach Bryan revealed on November 12th, 2019 that he’d been working with Cobb. At the time Zach was still in the Navy full-time, and only had a brief window to record in Nashville. The result was a two-song EP called Studio A Recordings released in February of 2021, including the proper studio recording of “Condemned.” The original recording of the song sort of train wrecks at the end, but has become a fan favorite. Instead of just choosing another song for the scene, Yellowstone went out of their way to get the one they wanted to use. The Dave Cobb-produced version of “Condemned” was featured on Episode 2 of Season 3 of the series.

Yellowstone went above and beyond for Whiskey Myers as well, whose music didn’t just appear in the soundtrack. The band itself appeared in the fourth episode of the show during the first season, sending their sales and streaming numbers spiking, and helped to ensconce them as one of the premier bands in independent roots.

Though working with Dave Cobb ultimately did not result in any more than a couple of songs, being affiliated with Dave Cobb and appearing in the Yellowstone soundtrack in many ways legitimized Zach Bryan, who previously was working almost solely off of word of mouth. It also shows just how committed Yellowstone is helping artists that you won’t hear on the radio, or see on big award shows.

Meanwhile, the 4th season of Yellowstone promises to be the biggest yet now that the series as moved from summer to fall programming, while Zach Bryan recently received an Honorable Discharge from the Navy, and has been selling out venues left and right. Concertgoers will attest that what’s happening with Zach Bryan at the moment doesn’t feel like an artist finally receiving the support they deserve, it feels like an outright phenomenon, with thousands of crazed fans singing along to every word of his songs. (read live review)

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