You're Doing it Wrong - 2016
Bradford's highly anticipated 2nd instrumental rock album! GREAT album featuring beautifully crafted compositions, insane lead guitar work, and lush sound! Do it RIGHT and get this album!
The Ninth Ring - 2008
Written and recorded over a period of two years, and is packed full of artful and soulful sounds, with a minimum of over-the-top “shred” guitar. This CD is a “must have” for all rock music fans that appreciate well-put together songs, regardless of their genre tastes.
Music Web Express:
The art of the hard rock guitar sound forms the core of The Ninth Ring from Colorado-based guitarist Bradford Watson, known to his fans as Bradford. With his electrifying guitar approach Bradford can clearly bowl you over with his immense, hard hitting instro rock sound, yet scratch the surface and you'l find that there’s something more varied and deeper going on here. What’s even more incredible is that Bradford handles all the instruments here himself, creating the aura of a complete band as played by one musician! He even did all the studio engineering as well. If there’s a progressive side to hard rock guitar instrumental performance, then Bradford has it covered. Commenting on such a sweeping and demanding one man recording project, from his detailed liner notes Bradford adds, ‘This CD represents the culmination of just over two years of effort. I consider it the pinnacle of my own artistic expression up until now, not from a performance standpoint, but also from a song writing and audio engineering standpoint.’ Although many listeners and guitar fans will place Bradford into the heavy metal rock instro category, Bradford is quick to point out, ‘While I have the utmost respect for the technical ability of many of the musicians out there doing instrumental rock, my objective has always been different. For me, it was far more important to go for good song writing. The musically well thought out instrumental rock track that sings without a vocalist is what I love about the genre. I’ve tried very hard to put the songs first.’ In the spirit of hard rock instrumental guitarists such as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and even Rob Balducci’s latest CD on Favored Nations, Bradford lays claim to some intriguing guitar territory all his own with the CD release of The Ninth Ring. In addition to the fine music within and intense cover art graphics, Bradford gives the listener a deeper understanding of his guitar sound and vision with his in depth track by track liner notes.
Bradford is a professional in the aerospace industry. While Bradford has a passion for science and technology, he also has another passion that runs just as deep, which is music. A lifelong musician, Bradford began playing the guitar as an early teen and quickly outpaced all of his instructors. For many years thereafter, Bradford played in numerous bands covering primarily top 40 rock, hard rock/ heavy metal, and original indie rock styles, and released three CDs. Having tired of the demands of constantly performing by the mid ‘00s, Bradford turned his attention to composing original music and built a home studio. In the studio, Bradford brought the rigor of scientific discipline to the recording process while maintaining the essential “Bradford” feel and style for which he is known. Bradford’s goal was to produce an album of songs that would “sing without singing.” In the studio, Bradford uses no other musicians, and is involved in every aspect of the production. Drums are loop performances, or programmed, and all other instruments (bass, keyboards, and guitars) are played live. Bradford’s close attention to detail ensures that every aspect of a song is well structured, great sounding, and reflects his
musical vision in the closest possible way. In addition, Bradford also mixes his own albums, and only relinquishes the mastering process to another studio. With his debut solo album, “The Ninth Ring,” Bradford proved that with modern technology, a musical vision, and a lot of hard work, one man can produce great results. The album was well received and garnered favorable reviews among instrumental rock genre fans. Bradford's second album "You're Doing it Wrong" will be released in the summer of 2016.
Guitar Noise Magazine:
While I was in Quebec City last summer, I saw a street musician playing a table of wine glasses, each arranged to a particular pitch and also arranged on the table in such a way to make it (relatively) easy to produce melodies, harmonies, chords, and bass lines. “Easy,” of course, meaning easy if you knew what you were doing. Denver-based guitarist Bradford certainly knows what he’s doing. You don’t have to get very far into his first CD, “The Ninth Ring,” to appreciate that he is someone who has developed some very serious guitar skills. He can certain shred with the best of them.
But fortunately, he also has a great ear for melody, harmony and phrasing, which makes this CD a lot more interesting than most of the “hey-I’m-a-fast (very fast) -guitarist-who’s-put-together-a-CD-of-all-guitar-music” that you’ll find out there. That’s not to say that there isn’t a lot of fast shredding going on. But Bradford does a great job of making the technique serve the song and not vice versa. This especially vividly realized in “Sky Solo,” Witches Brew” and “Tonight.”The down side of the CD is that, again like most guitar guys, he uses a lot of programming and loops. Don’t get me wrong – it sounds great. I just think it would sound even better if he had people to bounce musical ideas off of rather than machines.Case in point – while all twelve tracks of “The Ninth Ring” are certainly worthwhile, my favorites are the last two: “THS” and “Legend.” Interestingly enough the first is one of Bradford’s earliest instrumentals, which, to me anyway, sounds like it was meant to be performed live, with a group of musicians. It’s a wild romp, cleverly using dazzling sweep picking and string skipping techniques over a rollicking blues / rockabilly rhythm. Guitar and bass lines soar and glide together, like jets at an air show. This is a perfect example of song and speed merging to create something absolutely stunning and wild. It’s pure fun!Likewise, “Legend” is also a lot of fun in its own way. The guitar work is spare, serving a lovely hypnotic melody (synthesized marimba?) that sweeps you along in its wake. And it’s telling that (reading the liner notes after listening) this song received a good deal of reworking, courtesy of comments from Internet listeners. Being able to create the music oneself is a gift; making use of your listeners’ reactions often makes the gift greater.Which is why, strange to say, while I like this CD a lot, I am looking forward to more from Bradford. He states in his liner notes that he considers this CD “the pinnacle of my own artistic expression up until now, both from a performance standpoint, but also from a songwriting and audio engineering standpoint.” Personally, what I hear on this disc points makes me think that there’s even better music to come. Here’s my hope that Bradford finds some musicians that he can work with to produce an organic masterpiece that will make him redefine his pinnacle.