Composer Darius Holbert has created three new unique albums of production music for Alibi Music, including “Classic Western 2,” “Vegas Crooner,” and “Highlife.”
“I love all music. I can say that now because I’ve even finally come around on late ’90s dancehall,” said Holbert, a longtime creative partner of Alibi’s. “I spend most days jumping between multiple genres on numerous projects, recording my takes on venerated masters of tiny sub-genres, and I love every minute. Having to write in just one genre seems like a life barely lived, so I welcome all album requests, even (especially) if I don’t know a lot about it yet. It’s like traveling the world without having to pack.”
With regard to “Classic Western 2,” which features the distinct Western style of jangling spurs and rolling timpani drums, Holbert said, “My very first LP was given to me when I was 3: Alfred Newman’s ‘How the West Was Won.’ My favorite composer is Aaron Copland, my favorite genre to score is Western film, and I was born and raised in Texas. For this album, all I had to do was get out of bed and put on my spurs.”
With Paramount Network’s Yellowstone and its spinoffs taking over TV, now’s the time to give the TV industry more Western music with which to play. Holbert’s album is full of galloping, heroic music to evoke the Wild West and legends of the frontier. Tracks include everything from golden-toned French horns and trumpets to acoustic guitar and playful flutes to rolling timpani and marching snares.
On the smoother side of things, comes “Vegas Crooner,” with an album full of songs inspired by Vegas’ great songsters like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Bobby Darin.
“I listen to easy listening/pop/jazz from the ‘40s to the ‘70s constantly when I’m not working, and especially when I’m cooking,” Holbert said. “I was thrilled to get to write Basie-style charts for ‘50s pop tunes and drum up my best impression of Ol’ Blue Eyes and the fellers, so I broke out the ruffled tux and tried not to get any marinara in my martini.”
Finally, traveling to an entirely different continent, “Highlife” features polyrhythmic Ghanaian and West African beats, driven by frantic djembes, shakers and percussion, and topped with high pitched plucky clean guitars and hypnotic bass lines.