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 theres something more
varied and deeper going on here. Whats 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 theres 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. Ive 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 Balduccis 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.
WEB EXPRESS 3000 presents BRADFORD
Guitars Center Stage
Guitarists making waves in the music world,
their new recordings and gear!
started playing guitar as a teenager, which is a lot more years
ago than I care to admit! At first it was as much about getting girls
than anything else, but
I fell into a deep infatuation with the instrument almost immediately
and was soon better than all my teachers. It was a time of big hair
and spandex, and crazy people doing crazy things. What better time
to pick up a guitar and start rockin?
After high school I played in numerous bands, mostly doing cover tunes.
I covered a wide range of styles in these bands, from pop/top-40 style
music to hard rock and heavy metal. During this time, I toured numerous
clubs and venues around the west and southwest U.S. based out of Denver.
I also worked extensively on technique and showmanship in my downtime,
and by the early 90s, had developed a reputation as one of the
top rock guitarists on the circuit at that time.
Eventually I burned out on the road and took some time off. It was
during this period that I began to take more of an interest in writing
my own music. Some of the instrumental songs on my current release
The Ninth Ring were written during this period.
Keeping me away from the stage was no easy task, though. The itch
soon returned, so I helped found an original band. This band, called
Full Circle, played extensively in and around Denvers local
and regional hard rock venues from the late 90s though the mid
00s . We put out three CDs of original music, all of which were
recorded, engineered and mixed by me in my own studio.
After eight years, I left this band and began recording instrumental
rock as a solo artist. My CD, The Ninth Ring is my debut as
a solo artist.
Ninth Ring was recorded over a period of two years between 2006
and 2008. As before, I recorded the CD in my own studio. With the
advent of modern home digital recording technology, it became possible
for me to produce a top quality CD entirely by myself. I not only
wrote all of the music and played (or programmed) all of the instruments,
but I engineered, and mixed the entire CD, designed the artwork, and
brought it to market under my own label, Bradford-Music.
This time around its been different in the studio than in the
past, as I am the only player and have complete control of the final
product. So instead of focusing on a stage show and all the trappings
that come with live music, I dedicated myself to the music. I decided
right up front that I wanted to produce good, listenable music that
was expressive. Not being a singer, but a guitar player, the challenge
was to write a CD that even people who normally dont listen
to instrumental music might enjoy. The approach therefore, was to
emphasize the entire composition, and concentrate on the song writing,
so that the songs would sing without a singer. I hope
that I achieved that with my current release, The Ninth Ring.
This CD is packed full of artful and soulful sounds, with a minimum
of over-the-top shred guitar, and I believe that it is
a must have for all rock music fans that appreciate well-put
together songs, regardless of their genre tastes.
a pretty old school guitarist. All of the tracks on the disc were
recorded using my Ibanez guitars. I favor an 87 RG style guitar
for lead work, as I like the way the neck plays. This guitar has active
EMG pickups and sounds great. I also own a 90 JEM guitar, with
Dimarzio pickups that also plays and sounds great.
The JEM has a beautiful sparkling clean sound, which is featured prominently
on the disc. For chunkier stuff, I have two circa 86 Charvel/Jackson
guitars that I string up with big fat strings and de-tune so that
they sound brutal. The bass tracks were done with a crappy Ibanez
bass that, for some reason, sounds great on track (go figure).
These days I dont play out so much, but when I do, I use an
ADA MP-1 preamp with a Tubeworks MOSVALVE power amp, an ART box for
effects, and two 4 X 12 cabinets loaded with Celestion Vintage 30s.
For recording, I fell in love with modeling technology, so the disc
features some amp miking, some cabinet modeling, and a lot of a Behringer
VAMP Pro modeling amp. Some of the big fat, saturated guitar on the
disc features layering of all of these. For bass, I used the Behring
Bass VAMP Pro.
the early days I was a huge fan of Iron Maiden. Albums like Killers,
Piece Of Mind, Powerslave, and Somewhere In Time are
still among my favorite albums. Maidens mix of soaring guitars
and power/melodic metal is wonderful. It inspired me to play for hours
at a time when I was younger. I was also a big fan of George Lynch
of Dokken. Very few guitarists can wring as much tone out of a single
note as Lynch can. Later on I listened extensively to instrumentalists
like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson and Paul Gilbert. Satriani
especially, demonstrated to me how a rock guitarist can be an up
front instrument, and take the place of a vocalist. Gilbert,
on the other hand, inspired me to work on my technique and be precise,
though I doubt Ill ever be running any speed races with him.
These days I like Tool, Shinedown, Nickelback, and few others for
their great song writing.
For the moment, I am beginning to get back into writing and
recording. Ive revamped and updated much of the hardware and
software in my studio. I think I have enough material for another
disc, but it needs to be developed and recorded, of course. The new
disc is tentatively titled Electron Song. I like to preview
pre-release material on garageband.com: http://www.garageband.com/artist/BradfordProject,
so keep an eye out.
The CD and/or digital download is available at any of these websites:
and a bunch of others; ask your favorite music store to order it!
You can also watch a music video at: