‘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.
RESERVATION DOGS SOUNDTRACK – SEASON 1
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
Lokosh (Joshua D. Hinson)
October 5, 2021 @ 10:43 am
Micah P. Hinson (Episode 2) is a tribal citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. Though currently residing in north Texas, Hinson’s Chickasaw family hails from the Panola District of the Chickasaw Nation Reservation, near the communities of Colbert, Kemp, and Calera in the southeastern portion of the Chickasaw Nation Reservation, Oklahoma.
October 5, 2021 @ 10:46 am
Wu Tang is for the children
October 5, 2021 @ 10:47 am
It is so amazing that fans get it, TV shows and movies get it, then why oh why can’t country radio get that real country music is what fans want. Country radio will never learn.
October 5, 2021 @ 3:13 pm
Link Wray!! Nuff said.
October 5, 2021 @ 11:49 pm
Country–and other genre–have professionals who research and test everything, all in the service of maximizing their advertising revenues. They know what listeners want, a lot more than you do. The reason you don’t hear “real” country music on terrestrial radio is that it flops. There’s no conspiracy, no other reason.
October 6, 2021 @ 7:57 am
Your assumption is wrong. If it was true then your two biggest radio conglomerates iheartradio and cumulus would be rolling in cash. It’s quite the opposite at or near bankruptcy protection for years.
It’s meant to make cash for a few superstars on each label. That’s why they’re in the game.
October 5, 2021 @ 12:03 pm
Our current favorite show is Taika Waititi’s hilarious “Wellington Paranormal”! Not for everyone but my daughter and I love it. Been meaning to check this out, and all the more reason now!
October 5, 2021 @ 3:18 pm
Awesome, Ian. As a Kiwi, we love Taika and are really proud of what he’s doing on the global stage. Wellington Paranormal is VERY kiwi in it’s humour, so it’s excellent you are enjoying it. He’s also behind the series What We Do In The Shadows. It was originally a movie that he starred in. His movie ‘Boy’ is a Kiwi classic. Worth hunting down.
October 6, 2021 @ 7:37 am
“I reckon this is the best fish and chip shop in the greater Wellington area”
“I reckon it’s the vegan fish and chip shop”
“Wouldn’t that just be a chip shop?”
October 8, 2021 @ 9:57 pm
Ha! Somebody needs to open a really good chain of fish n’ chip shops in America … and bakeries with savoury pies! Could make alot of money. Have you seen Flight of The Concords? Kiwi humour at it’s finest.
October 5, 2021 @ 12:17 pm
Freddie Fender, Augie Myers, and the late Doug Sahm are all Texans and might be little miffed if called Oklahomans.
October 5, 2021 @ 12:33 pm
Did not mean to allude they were from Oklahomama. Was just mentioning them as artists from the country/roots world featured on the soundtrack.
October 5, 2021 @ 12:40 pm
I’ve noticed that on both Yellowstone and Reservation Dogs that the Native Americans or Indigenous People call themselves “Indian”. Are white people just too sensitive about the term now? It doesn’t seem to be used in the same context as black people using the N word.
October 5, 2021 @ 12:43 pm
I’m simply using the nomenclature of the show’s creators. I think “Indian” is still acceptable by some or most, but I personally didn’t want to run the risk of saying something unintentionally offensive, whether it should be considered as such or otherwise.
October 6, 2021 @ 12:08 am
Indians–at least blue-collar ones–also liked the Indian names of sports teams that are being banned. If you looked at truckers and mechanics on Indian reservations, you’d see a lot more jerseys with logos that said “Redskins” or “Chiefs” than “Cowboys” or “Steelers.”
October 5, 2021 @ 12:44 pm
Don’t be a jackass.
October 5, 2021 @ 2:40 pm
I’m just asking the question. I don’t know any Native Americans, so I genuinely don’t know how any feel about this.
October 5, 2021 @ 1:45 pm
To be honest, it’s nothing to stress about, I’m Navajo and a lot of bands back on ‘the rez’ use “indian” in their songs and band names. Straight up media junk that you see everywhere.
October 5, 2021 @ 2:44 pm
I appreciate your answer. Thank you very much.
October 5, 2021 @ 3:00 pm
Thank you. I appreciate your response.
October 5, 2021 @ 1:51 pm
You’re having a laugh, yes? Your comment has to be a bit.
October 5, 2021 @ 2:42 pm
No, I am genuinely curious about it.
October 5, 2021 @ 3:59 pm
Yes, we call ourselves Indian, & proudly so.
But not haughty.
We certainly do not strive to be politically correct
October 5, 2021 @ 4:39 pm
Thank you for answering. I really appreciate it.
October 5, 2021 @ 5:15 pm
October 5, 2021 @ 6:58 pm
Been called Indian all my life and thats what my friends and family are used too. Only time we hear Native American is when people are being P.C. So much Indian humor and “Easter Eggs” in this show, I re-watch every episode to see what I missed in the background. Even saw some friends and family as background actors. You will never see an Indian wearing an OU hat like Bill Burr did. Many Indians say, “I gotta go to the O.” which O is slang for bathroom! So his hat matched his Indian nickname!!
Cool Lester Smooth
October 6, 2021 @ 6:44 am
Yeah, I’ve always heard “Tribe/Nation is preferable, but otherwise go with ‘American Indian’ or some variation thereof.”
Using “First Nations” in the states is like using “Latinx” – performative nonsense from white liberals who can’t be arsed to actually do anything.
October 6, 2021 @ 9:34 am
I think only Gen Z uses “Latinx”. There was a recent Gallup poll that showed that about 4% of Hispanics/Latinos/Latinas use the term “Latinx”. Spanish is a Romance language, and has been for about a thousand years. Gendered language isn’t going to change because of one oddly offended generation. This “Latinx” stuff is nonsense. They’re coming for you next, Italian, French, and Portuguese!
October 6, 2021 @ 9:12 am
It really depends on the individual. I don’t personally like being called Indian, Native American or First Nations but there are times I use NA or FN if it helps people understand what I mean. I never use Indian for myself, it just feels wrong.
Love the show and am friends with one of the actresses, I’ve been so excited to watch how great the reception has been for the show, and I am hoping this can lead to even bigger things for her!
October 6, 2021 @ 9:26 am
Yeah, I personally hate being called “Caucasian” or “European-American”. “European-American” really pisses me off. My ancestors left Europe because they wanted nothing to do with it any longer. If I must be categorized, I prefer “white”. And I am so very white.
Do you prefer your tribal nation affiliation to all of the general use terms?
October 7, 2021 @ 1:47 am
Yeah I go by my nation usually. If someone asked me I usually say I’m Kanienkehaka. I get funny looks then I usually use the name most people know us as “Mohawk” (which I also hate as it’s not our name, it was a derogatory name from another nation).
October 7, 2021 @ 6:02 am
Oh wow. I didn’t know that about “Mohawk”. And you’re part of the Iroquois Confederacy, right?
October 5, 2021 @ 3:10 pm
Randomly decided to check out Samantha Crain first after reading this and HOLY SMOKES I’m hooked. She’s freaking stellar. Great article about a great show with a GD great soundtrack. Thank ya, brother
October 5, 2021 @ 7:47 pm
Haha! Yeah, I guess his name DID fit. This show is so great. It reminds me a lot of Atlanta, with all of its quirky characters and side bits featuring those quirky characters.
And I appreciate your response too.
October 5, 2021 @ 9:19 pm
Really dig the show; really looking forward to a Moreland song showing up in an episode. Feel like this is the biggest slam dunk that’s ever been chunked.
October 6, 2021 @ 6:27 am
Thanks SCM for piling on even more to my queue. Some day I’ll catch up.
October 6, 2021 @ 9:32 am
From Om to Jimmy Rogers! Rad. Super rad.