By Robert Silverstein, Music Web Express, 2013
Never Been Cool
Among the most underrated and under-recorded guitarists in America today, Scott Bradoka calls his 2013, 17 track CD collection Never Been Cool. Just that name alone conjures up all kinds of perceived detriments, yet in a concerted effort to bring his name back into the limelight, with Never Been Cool, Bradoka has put together a well-rounded collection of remixed archival tracks from the past fifteen years along with several newly recorded tracks. For guitar buffs who have followed his career over the past decade, you can't really mention the name Scott Bradoka without at least mentioning the name Eric Bazilian, the singer-songwriter who turned rock fusion guitar instrumental advocate when he teamed up with Scott for his 2003 album Create Your Own Reality. Even though Bazilian made his name as the singing guitarist / composer of the rock group The Hooters back in the 1980s, joined in 2003 with Bradoka the two achieved a rare balance of musical muscle and compositional integrity, a combination that made for truly ground breaking musical history, most notably on Bazilian's instrumental "X2000", a track that was featured as the crown jewel on CYOR. If you had to pick one of the greatest instrumentals that captured the intensity and the passing of the greatest generation and the passing of the torch into the great unknown it is "X2000". Looking back on working with Bradoka on Create Your Own Reality, Bazilian recently told mwe3.com, 'Of all the records I've been involved in this is actually one of my favorites. Scott was amazing and inspiring to work with." And when further questioned about about other great tracks he and Bradoka worked on Bazilian adds, 'They really are, and I made a conscious effort to let Scott's voice as an electric guitarist stand alone, though I did end up playing a solo on "X2000". It was a blast playing all those bass, sax, keyboard and dobro parts." Another great Bradoka / Bazilian work of sonic art that was another highlight of CYOR is a unique sounding instro rock version of the Brian Wilson / Beach Boys song "California Girls". We all know Brian loves jazz so, even though it's ten years after, he's well advised to groove out with Scott and Eric. One must also applaud Bazilian's excellent sax work on that track. There's so many great songs on Never Been Cool and, while it's super hard to reach the sonic nirvana of"X2000", you might want to reword that after giving a listen to the sonic grandeur of a new track here entitled "Mojado" which is a personal favorite, I'm told by Bradoka. The new tracks including "Mojado" were recorded with Steve Kalafski (on second guitar), Bradoka co-composer Glen Radomski and long time Bradoka band drummer Scott Williams. Of course in addition to "X2000" and the new tracks, there's plenty of Scott's great jazz-rock instrumentals on hand here including "Black Crayon" and "Friends", another two highlights with Bazilian. A solid combination of guitar based instrumentals that merge jazz, rock, fusion, funk, hip-hop, soundtrack sounds and more, Never Been Cool is proof that Scott Bradoka has always been cool.