Brazilian slang for "country bumpkin," Matuto plays original music inspired by Northeastern Brazilian Rhythms and American Folk. For the past 3 years, Clay Ross has submerged himself in Brazilian music as a member of Cyro Baptista's world renowned percussion ensemble "Beat the Donkey." With Matuto, this South Carolina native mixes Bluegrass with Brazilian Percussion for a sound like a Carnaval in the Appalachian Mountains.
The albums 11 tracks consist of 7 Ross originals, 4 heavily reworked American folk tunes, and alternates between instrumental and vocal songs. "Recife," introduces a band of virtuosic instrumentalist on a rhythmically charged new fiddle tune. "What a Day" laments the hectic pace of NYC life over a frenetic samba rhythm. "Remember Calabash" conjures the folksy feel of a lazy afternoon. "Banks of the Ohio" combines a Brazilian xote rhythm with a classic American murder ballad. "Zydaco Mondo" presents a pan-American stew with jazz inflections. "Church Street Blues" quotes bluegrass guitar legend Tony Rice beside an Afro Brazilian folk rhythm. "Maria's Lullaby" is an intensely brooding ballad propelled by a bed of forceful drumming. "Home Sweet Home" is a simple reading of an american folk classic that marries the Brazilian pandiero with the steel string guitar. "John the Revelator" delivers the raw intensity of a blues drenched vocal riding on a choir of exotic Brazilian percussion. “Dream of Life" is a universal love song with a touch of surf rock guitar.
Finally, there is the peaceful, instrumental release of "Feel, like a Song," complete with chamber winds and spacious psychadellic percussion effects by the maestro, Cyro Baptista. Produced by Clay Ross, the album features performances from many of the cities finest players. Special guests include master percussionists Cyro Baptista (Paul Simon, Sting) and Ze Mauricio (YoYo Ma, Choro Ensemble), drummer Richie Barshay (Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea) and accordionist Rob Curto (Lila Downs, David Krakauer.) The album was mixed by Tony Maimone at Studio G in Brooklyn and mastered by Grammy award winning engineer, Scott Hull. With Clay Ross - Guitars, Vocals, and Cavaquinho, Rob Hecht - Fiddle, Edward Perez - Bass, Tim Keiper - Drums, Scott Kettner - Percussion, Eduardo Guedes - Percussion, Olivier Manchon - Violins, Viola, and Cello, Merideth Hite - Oboes and English
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