Wow! ‘Yellowstone’ Star Gil Birmingham’s Guitar Skills Are Amazing [Watch]
Gil Birmingham is best known to Yellowstone fans for his role as Chairman Thomas Rainwater on the smash hit show, but he's also a very talented musician in real life. Birmingham is an avid guitarist, and in the video below, he demonstrates some pretty sweet chops in an unaccompanied acoustic jam.
Birmingham's character on Yellowstone heads up the Confederated Tribes of Broken Rock and serves as the leader of the Broken Rock Reservation that borders the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. The actor and musician is also a passionate advocate for Native American causes in real life, and in a clip that's been uploaded to YouTube, the actor and guitarist performs at the Native American Music Awards.
Birmingham begins his solo piece with a dramatic chord flourish before intermingling some fleet-fingered, classically-inspired lead licks, then runs through an impressive series of interesting chord voicings, strumming patterns, harmonics and more, demonstrating a wide knowledge of musical stylings and easy command of the fingerboard.
The actor's role as Chairman Rainwater does not offer him the opportunity to show off his musical skills, but Birmingham has had the chance to jam with Oscar winner Jeff Bridges at work. The two starred together in the 2016 film Hell or High Water, which Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan wrote, and they got to know each other through their shared interest in music.
“We spent about a week together…and that provided a great opportunity for Jeff and I to just get to know each other musically speaking,” Birmingham told the San Antonio Current. “Every day Jeff would ask me, ‘Did you bring your guitar?’ I would say, ‘Jeff, when are we going to get a chance to play? We’re doing 14-hour days!” He'd go, 'You never know.’”
"Gil is a wonderful guitarist and we just played any chance that we had," Bridges told Cowboys & Indians in 2018. "We brought our guitars to the set, and before and after work, any time we were together, we jammed.”
Birmingham has not shared whether he's jammed with the cast of Yellowstone, but there's no shortage of musical talent on hand if he wanted to. Series star Kevin Costner has a parallel career as a singer-songwriter and frontman of Kevin Costner and Modern West, while Ryan Bingham, who plays singing cowboy Walker on the show, is a real-life Americana and roots country star whose music has won him an Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy Award.
Luke Grimes, who plays Kayce Dutton on the show, is also a musician, and he has said he's eyeing a country record in 2022, while Denim Richards, who plays Colby, is a trained opera singer.