Netflix Series “The Ranch” Showcases Worthy Country & Roots Artists
As television viewers continue to ditch cable and instead invest in online and on-demand television subscriptions, companies like Netflix have begun to pony up for new original series to view right beside their catalogs of reruns. Netflix’s newest series premiered April 1st and is called The Ranch starring Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Debra Winger, and Sam Elliot. Set in Garrison, Colorado, the story is about a washed up football player (Ashton Kutcher) who returns home to find his father (Sam Elliot) struggling to keep the family ranch going. Hilarity ensues in the 30-minute comedy filmed in front of a studio audience that feels very much like a network TV sitcom, except there’s no commercials, and the characters are apt to cuss.
UPDATE: See The Music From Season 2 of “The Ranch” HERE
UPDATE: See The Music From Season 3 of “The Ranch” HERE
UPDATE: See The Music From Season 4 of “The Ranch” HERE
Reviews have been mixed for the show so far, but country music listeners may have an extra incentive to watch the program. Featured on the 10-episode series has been a slew of independent country artists who will hopefully see decent paydays and a bump in exposure.
The theme song from “The Ranch” is a version of “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” originally performed by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, but recorded anew by Lukas Nelson and Shooter Jennings. Also appearing on the series soundtrack so far has been Corb Lund, the Turnpike Troubadours, American Aquarium, Justin Townes Earle, Brandi Carlile, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, and Ashley Monroe. There’s also a healthy dose of mainstream country artists featured, including Luke Bryan and Kenny Chesney, but some of the songs on the show are a bit more palatable and obscure selections than what you may hear on mainstream radio.
There are also ample country music references and jokes in the series, razzing on artists such as Brooks & Dunn and Shania Twain. The country music element is heavy throughout the series, and during certain scenes, songs will be playing low in the background, usually tied in some way to whatever is happening between the characters.
For example in Episode 7, Danny Masterson, who plays Jameson “Rooster” Bennett, the brother of Ashton Kutcher’s character, makes the joke, “Mom and dad are like Brooks & Dunn. They get back together a few years, and every time they do, it just gets worse and worse.” Later in the episode while the Debra Winger and Sam Elliot characters contemplate getting a divorce, Cam’s country radio hit “Burning House” plays in the background.
The music supervisor for The Ranch is Frankie Pine, who is also the music supervisor for ABC’s big country music drama Nashville. Similarly, Nashville has won praise for not just selecting songs from mainstream artists, but digging a little deeper to find the right song for the right moment.
The composition and original music for the show is done by composer Ryeland Allison. “I definitely respect and admire the history of American country and Western music, roots and folk music, and Americana,” says Allison. “That’s part of my family history. My father is Texan musician Keith Allison, and that’s where I draw my inspiration, along with the storytelling and great writing that’s in the show.”
Ashton Kutcher not only stars in the series, but is also an executive producer. “We realized there were a lot of conventions being used in sitcoms that were just being used just because that was the way it’s always been done,” says Kutcher. “Why don’t they use music underneath scenes to help bring the more cinematic quality to scenes?”
The first 10 episodes of The Ranch are streaming now on Netflix, with an additional 10-episode season on the way.
Below is a selection of a few of the songs that are featured on the show.
- Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys Shooter Jennings and Lukas Nelson
- Man I’m Supposed to Be — American Aquarium
- Rain Is a Good Thing Luke Bryan
- Cows Around Corb Lund
- Mama’s Eyes Justin Townes Earle
- Family Is Family Kacey Musgraves
- S.O.B. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
- Whiskey on My Breath Love and Theft
- Drinkin’ Town With a Football Problem Billy Currington
- Crash and Burn Thomas Rhett
- Got a Little Crazy Kenny Chesney
- It’s a Great Day to Be Alive Travis Tritt
Gasoline And Matches — Buddy & Julie Miller
- Burning House — Cam
- Far Far Away From My Heart The Bodeans
- The Eye Brandi Carlile
- Waste A Lifetime The Bodeans
- Unfamiliar Road Desi & Cody
- American Love Story LANco
- Weed Instead Of Roses Ashley Monroe
- The First Time The Bodeans
- 7 Oaks Turnpike Troubadours
- Once In A While The Bodeans
- Stay Sugarland
- Whiskey on My Breath Love and Theft
April 7, 2016 @ 6:26 pm
They also make fun of Florida Georgia Line in the second episode.
This show is a winner in my book.
john t hardesty
October 18, 2016 @ 11:38 am
They should, like Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line are city Cowboys, no true country boys!
November 27, 2016 @ 3:54 pm
Please help us peasants here in merry ol and tell us the title of the song p,yard by the band with an old fashioned concertina with RUNAWAY cuz other ways we have to plough thru all the episodes, which we are willing to do, but it’s mighty hard when we want to play and sing before our Christmas reunion ?
January 2, 2017 @ 4:19 pm
The song is called Fadeaway. The band performing that song is The Bodeans. A brilliant band with many excellent songs in their catalog. Not a bad one in the bunch. Search them out and give them a try. Joe Dirt Car is a good live album too.
April 7, 2016 @ 6:30 pm
I like it. It’s a relatable, raunchy sitcom. It’s nice to see the white washed layer peeled back once in awhile.
April 7, 2016 @ 6:32 pm
All the individual episode titles are names of Kenny Chesney songs, too, I noticed.
April 7, 2016 @ 6:54 pm
I was wondering if this was on your radar. I liked the show, and Sam Elliot is still the man. Thanks for the list of songs. There were a few I couldn’t make out over the dialogue.
April 7, 2016 @ 7:15 pm
There’s probably twice as many songs as I listed. I couldn’t make out them all either. But when you hear one that you recognize, it’s really cool how they fit it to the dialogue. I can see more series doing this in the future.
October 9, 2016 @ 12:36 pm
Thanks for the list. Would love to see a list for season 2
October 9, 2016 @ 2:56 pm
Working on it …
April 8, 2016 @ 8:36 am
The world will be a lot less masculine once Sam Elliot dies.
April 7, 2016 @ 7:06 pm
They could have done without playing Dickhead Thomas Rhett, but otherwise, excellent*
*The luke bryan song is shit, but fitting for that scene…
Overall, there were more country songs played in any given episode than country radio played in a week
April 7, 2016 @ 7:13 pm
I watched the first 2 episodes Monday. If they would get rid of the ridiculous laugh track it would be really good.
April 7, 2016 @ 7:18 pm
That was my first reaction, then I read that they actually tape it in front of a live studio audience. It’s funny because a lot of us grew up watching sitcoms with laugh tracks, and recently the laugh track has gone out of style. I think their idea with the live audience here is almost to create a nostalgic mood of a classic sitcom. It’s still distracting, but I can see where they’re going with it. “That 70’s Show” with Ashton was probably one of the most notorious shows for its laugh track. Something tells me a lot of thought went into how they decided to integrate laughter into the show.
July 23, 2018 @ 11:06 am
It’s actually filmed on a sound stage in Burbank in front a live audience. It’s not laugh tracks. I know because I’ve been to a taping.
April 7, 2016 @ 7:29 pm
I like laugh tracks. They make me think of carefree, not too serious fun. There’s a place for laugh track.
April 7, 2016 @ 8:02 pm
In clown hell.
April 8, 2016 @ 8:47 am
Agree, why don’t the characters just laugh. I mean, in a real life situation [when someone gives a zinger] people laugh, they don’t just pretend like nothing happened.
April 10, 2016 @ 1:13 pm
In some scenes it looks like their doing everything they can to hold it in to keep from busting out laughing
April 7, 2016 @ 7:55 pm
Watching episode 10 now, hearing Turnpike Troubadours after Ashley Monroe and I thought, I wonder if Trigger has posted anything about this show. I like the show, and the music makes it even better.
April 7, 2016 @ 7:56 pm
I was initially excited when American Aquaruim and Turnpike Troubadours started posting that their music was being used in a new Netflix show, but then I watched it. Now I’m embarrassed. The show is terrible, awful, unwatchable.
I assumed it was a laugh track, but your reporting its taped in front of a “live audience.” Whatever it is, it’s beyond annoying. I hate the sound of other people’s laughter. I think Cheers was the last show I watched with a “live audience.”
I’ll give you that it’s odd to hear someone say “fuck,” then canned laughter. But that novelty wears off quick.
The stage or backdrop is criminally fake. Maybe it’s supposed to be campy fake, but it’s another deterrent.
The humor is painfully predictable.
I watched two episodes only because of the music. I won’t watch another.
April 7, 2016 @ 7:57 pm
The bar also has posters of various artists. I recall seeing a Shovel & Rope poster at one time. Thanks for the research one the tunes!
April 8, 2016 @ 12:34 am
Hope i won’t see Ashton Kutcher singing George Strait again .
April 8, 2016 @ 5:54 am
Hopefully the continued trend away from ‘cable-work’ programming will lead to delving even deeper into alternative country, and be another lever to separate country music from Nashville.
I might even subscribe if they had a show that combined Vinyl and Breaking Bad.
April 8, 2016 @ 7:24 am
Ashton Kutcher is a deal breaker for me. I could never like him.
April 8, 2016 @ 1:10 pm
I started watching the show this morning after reading this and I really like it the humor is actually funny and I don’t find ashton Kutcher as intolerable as I did when he replaced Charlie sheen but I love the music the second I heard the theme I was hooked and the show has also introduced me to a new band after watching part of episode 3 I heard a song and I went to youtube and typed son of a bitch because I figured that was the name of the song and a couple minutes later I was introduced to Nathan rateliff & the night sweats so I have this show to thank for that
Toby in AK
April 8, 2016 @ 4:40 pm
I watched the first episode last night. It’s like that seventies show, in the country, 20 years later. Also something seemed off with Sam Elliot. The way he was standing gave me vertigo.
April 8, 2016 @ 5:17 pm
This show looks cool and all, but holy shit is Sturgill’s new album good. Sturgill’s a fucking genius. Smartest musician of our era.
two guns way up
April 10, 2016 @ 4:54 pm
I like anything that Sam and Debra star in and I love the songs I,m a country fan and its nice that Luke Nelson and Shooter Jennings are carrying on some of country’s music that I listened too when I was in my 30’s raising my kids and going through a ruff time .I hope there will be more shows like this,I’m tired of all the killing in movies ,didn’t care much for the cussing,but I’ll give it an AÂ±
April 11, 2016 @ 12:33 am
I think this is a great show. Has less of the reality bull in it and more of what really goes on in families. We aren’t all one happy bunch all the time. And there is always something going on behind the scenes in a family. I think it portrays it very well.
April 11, 2016 @ 9:51 am
I’ve been binge watching the show this past weekend. Pretty entertaining. Some of the accents sound silly. The laugh track is foolish. But I still dig the show overall. I like to hear the word fuck, I can relate to that haha.
April 12, 2016 @ 10:26 am
The Ranch is a hit. The wit, one liners and the cast are great. No stone left unturned.
April 19, 2016 @ 9:27 pm
I started the first episode and thought it was too stupid to waste my time on, but I let it play for a while and found myself laughing out loud. So… I watched all 10 episodes over the weekend. Good stuff, except maybe the great actor Debra Winger is not exactly right for the part, I’m still deciding.
Also, I tried watching with closed captioning on and it just says [country music playing on radio].
April 20, 2016 @ 9:56 am
One of the big reason that Nashville features so many great artists that are outside of the mainstream is because of the sister duo from Canyon, TX, Megan and Mandi Collier. Megan is an anchor on the local Amarillo NBC station and Mandi is the Music Supervisor for “Nashville.” Megan hosted a variety show and she would feature bands as they traveled through Amarillo to play at Hoot’s Pub, Golden Light Cantina, and Austin’s Pub. The bands that she really liked would be passed along to her sister, Mandi. Local Amarillo acts such as Casey Berry and the Live Texas Mosquitos, Zac Wilkerson and the Wayward Souls, and the Chancy Bernson Band have been featured on Nashville. It is pretty cool that a portion of the featured music on “Nashville” is due to the live shows that bands play in Amarillo. Maybe that amazing music taste has been passed on to “The Ranch”
May 4, 2016 @ 11:07 pm
I watched the first episode and thought it was flat and going to be “The Ashton Kutcher show”. I figured I’d give it a chance and after the third episode characters were developed and story line deepened. I was hooked!
May 11, 2016 @ 4:35 pm
This is a great show. Thank God for intelligent jokes and down to earth but romantic characters.
Sam Elliot is the most likeable male in the series eventhough Ashton Kuster is juicy. Wasnt Demi Moore an intelligent woman?
I was surprised by Debrah WINGER , very, very good performance but she has aged soooooo badly although she is still a very attractive woman.
Overall, THUMBS UP !!! The music is great, unbelievable, Nashville is not shown in my country anymore, so I am so happy … I just hope it goes on
May 22, 2016 @ 10:02 am
Love the show, except for the free use of the “F” word. Not a big fan of that cuss word. Guess I’m just old school in that regard.
June 8, 2016 @ 3:25 pm
Love this show rooster and Colt together is better than 70’s show I want more of this Sam Elliot best TV father since Red Foreman….. wish I had this opportunity to work in and be a part of “the ranch”
October 12, 2016 @ 6:40 pm
Can we get a list of the soundtrack for season 2
October 12, 2016 @ 6:53 pm
Actively working on rustling one up. Hoping to have it posted soon.
October 25, 2016 @ 5:40 am
Hey Trigger. Tunefind has music for eps 11-20.
The Show has a great mix of songs imo.
October 19, 2016 @ 12:43 pm
I’d love to know the name of the song that the bar band is singing in Season 2 episode 6
October 25, 2016 @ 5:20 am
Kristi H….BoDeans singing “She’s a little runaway!” One of my favorite songs!
October 26, 2016 @ 2:32 am
October 29, 2016 @ 4:47 pm
It’s actually called “Fadeaway” by the BoDeans 🙂
November 2, 2016 @ 10:02 am
Wow! Never heard of this series until just past month (and I’m a Netflex customer) but have worn out these episodes. Have started re-watching and listening to whole series. Longtime admirer of Sam Elliot and think I’ve seen all he’s played in. Have “We were Soldiers” in my i-pad and watch when just waiting around in a wi-fi area. The Ranch is especially true of many families. Always a lot of stuff friends and relatives don’t see when not around. Like I’ve heard much of the “f” word, I don’t mind it, hear it everywhere in real life. Love that language using the Lord’s name in vain is never (that I’ve heard) used. That would ruin the whole program in my opinion. Please keep this program going.
November 5, 2016 @ 7:56 pm
Do you know who performs the closing song of season 2, episode 4 that starts “poquito a poquito”?
November 17, 2016 @ 3:23 pm
“Mamas Don’t Let You Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” was “NOT” originally performed by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings they covered it, it was originally performed by Ed Bruce.
May 14, 2018 @ 5:22 pm
Ed Bruce is an awesome singer/song writer! If you listen closely Ed Bruce is singing “Mamas Dont Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” in an episode as background. Ed Bruce also played the sheriff to James Garners “Maverick” revival show. Wouldnt it be cool if they got him to do a part in the ranch!? Just a thought!
November 24, 2017 @ 8:56 am
Who” IS” performing the song …please don’t let your sons grow up to be cowboys?
November 24, 2017 @ 9:07 am
The theme song is performed by Shooter Jennings (Waylon’s son) and Lukas Nelson (Willie’s son).
January 16, 2018 @ 7:02 am
can someone please tell me the name of the song that plays in episode 7, part 1. after margaret leaves the barn, has a moment of the song and then cut to rooster sitting with the dog. pleease i cant find it
Dirt Road Derek
February 27, 2019 @ 7:34 am
My wife finally convinced me to give the show a try, after she watched all the available seasons, and after a few episodes I was hooked. Great setting, characters, stories, humor, and of course music. The Ranch is a breath of fresh air in the world of sitcoms.
April 24, 2019 @ 8:59 pm
Been watching The Ranch on Netflix and love it! And the theme song remake “Don’t Let Your Baby’s Grow Up to Be Cowboys” by Lucas Nelson and Shooter Jennings…I can close my eyes and hear their dads singing it…could not believe it was a remake! 😳
April 23, 2021 @ 6:44 pm
anyone know the song playing on the jukebox in season 1 episode 2 while Colt, Abby and Kenny are talking at the bar