‘Reservation Dogs’ is Latest TV Series to Feature Killer Soundtrack

Once again it is a television series that is stepping up to deliver what mainstream country radio and other conventional music mediums often don’t, which is the music from independent artists that is resonating with the public despite commonly being overshadowed and under-supported.

This time it’s the sitcom series called Reservation Dogs available on demand from FX for Hulu that has viewers excited to hear some of their favorite artists on what’s become one of their favorite programs, while other folks are being exposed to performers they’ve never heard of before through the series soundtrack.

Currently holding a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the widespread acclaim and buzz Reservation Dogs is enjoying is helping to shine a spotlight on the music featured throughout the popular series.

Premiered on August 9th, Reservation Dogs was created by filmmaker Sterlin Harjo of the Seminole Nation, along with New Zealand native Taika Waititi. It follows four somewhat misfit Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma who form a pseudo gang that spends their days committing crime and fighting it, with the ultimate goal of raising enough money to get to California.

Despite it’s explicit dialog and often seedy subject matter, Reservation Dogs says a lot between the lines, while its focus on Indigenous culture in the comedic context makes it groundbreaking all unto itself, as is putting Indigenous people both in front of the camera and behind it, and portraying Reservation life in an authentic way, however humorous. The show also happens to be side-splitting hilarious from superb writing and performances.

The music on Reservation Dogs is not 100% country and roots like on the Paramount series Yellowstone, which is also helping to expose certain independent artists and their songs to a wider audience. True to the philosophy behind the series though, many Indigenous artists are featured in the soundtrack from all over the musical spectrum, including more traditional music of native people, to cutting edge hip-hop.

But seeing how geography plays such an important role in the series, and Oklahoma is such a proving ground for folk and Red Dirt singers and songwriters, it only seems fitting Oklahoma’s finest would be featured in the series as well.

The Music Supervisor for the series is Tiffany Anders. Asked by Saving Country Music how important it was to represent artists from Oklahoma, Tiffany Anders says, “Very important. I’d say it might have been the most important musical aspect of the show, was representing Oklahoma artists, whether Native American or otherwise, and spanning all sorts of different time periods and genres.”

The first season soundtrack features folk and American singer/songwriter Samantha Crain, who is Choctaw and originally from Shawnee, Oklahoma. Of course when you’re talking Oklahoma, you immediately think of the Turnpike Troubadours, who also appear in the soundtrack. The “Turnpike” in the group’s name comes from the notoriously bumpy roads crisscrossing Oklahoma’s Native lands.

Oklahomans Jacob Tovar and J.D. McPherson are also featured in the Season 1 soundtrack. And so are other cool names from the country and roots world, such as Sturgill Simpson, as well as legends like Jimmie Rodgers, Dave Dudley, Lee Hazlewood, The Allman Brothers Band, and the Sir Douglas Quintet featuring Doug Sahm and Augie Myers. The whole soundtrack is killer (see below).

“No matter what show I work on, it’s always a great feeling to use under recognized music,” says Tiffany Anders. “I think that was important to both Sterlin [Harjo] and I. For him, I know he really wanted to represent Oklahoma artists, but he also directed the music to have a ‘DIY’ quality to it, which to me I took to mean, anything where it sounds like an artist is walking their own path, doing their own thing—it is definitely something I was happy to dig around and find.”

The original music and score for the series is composed by Indigenous musician Mato Wayuhi, who also has a song featured in the soundtrack.

Reservation Dogs was recently renewed for a second season.


Episode 1 – “F*ckin’ Rez Dogs”

1. “I Wanna Be Your Dog” – The Stooges
2. “Ace of Spades” – Link Wray
3. “I Love You So” – Keith King, Cal Golden’s Arkansas Mountain Boys
4. “Protect Ya Neck” – Wu-Tang Clan
5. “Class Historian” – Broncho
6. “Pop Pop” – Lil Mike, Funnybone
7. “Waterfalls” – Sarah Podemski
8. “Moonlight Sonata” – APM Music
9. “She’s About a Mover” – Sir Douglas Quintet
10. “Stone Cold Lover” – Mato
11. “Deeper” – Labrys
12. “Joey” – Samantha Crain
13. “Stadium Pow Wow (feat. Black Bear)” – The Halluci Nation
14. “R.E.D.” – Yasiin Bey, Narcy, Black Bear, The Halluci Nation

Episode 2 – “NDN Clinic”

1. “Stone Cold Lover” – Mato
2. “The Shadow Knows” – Link Wray
3. “Get in My Car” – Broncho
4. “Days of My Youth” – Micah P. Hinson
5. “ReZdReamZ” – Sten Joddi
6. “If It’s a Monday Morning” – Lee Hazlewood

Episode 3 – “Uncle Brownie”

1. “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” – Sherwin Linton and The Fender Benders
2. “Devils in Heaven Bound Machines” – Dave Dudley
3. “Marijuanaut’s Theme” – Sleep
4. “Lucky Penny” – JD McPherson
5. “Galaxy (I’m the Ruler)” – Bill Campbell, Aaron Harry
6. “Funhouse” – Pretty 
7. “Flight of the Eagle” – Om

Episode 4 – “What About Your Dad”

1. “Greasy Frybread” – Sten Joddi 
2. “Easton & Main” – Turnpike Troubadours
3. “Our Secret” – Beat Happening
4. “Greasy Frybread” – Emily Green

Episode 5 – “Come and Get Your Love”

1. “Midnight Rider” – Allman Brothers Band
2. “Drivin’ on E” – Mickey Ratt
3. “Keepin’ It Gangsta” – Lil Mike, Funnybone, Young Dami, Demand
4. “Come and Get Your Love” – Redbone

Episode 6 – “Hunting”

1. “Daddy and Home” – Jimmie Rodgers
2. “I Don’t Mind” – Sturgill Simpson

Episode 7 – “California Dreamin'”

1. “Tom Cat” by Jim Sullivan
2. “Three Good Reasons” – Jacob Tovar & The Saddle Tramps
3. “Cleveland Summer Nights” – Jacob Tovar & The Saddle Tramps 
4. “Sky-Man and the Moon” – David Campbell

Episode 8 – “Satvrday

1. “Wasted Days & Wasted Nights” – Freddy Fender
2. “Poor Moon” – Canned Heat 
3. “Your Thunder and Lightning” – Lee Hazlewood
4. “What” – Broncho 
5. “Hey, Hey, Hey, Brother” – John Angaiak
6. “Point of No Return” – Jim Ford

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