Press

Link to the Latest Press Release on the Rock Paper Scissors Website

“These engaging Brazilian forró rockers borrow from jazz and funk in their lively sets.” – The New York Times

“If purveyors of the high lonesome sound had hunkered down in northeast Brazil, the result might be something like Matuto. Based in New York City and fronted by American-born fusionists Clay Ross and Rob Curto, Matuto builds on a foundation of forro, the accordion/percussion-based folk style popularized by the legendary Luiz Gonzaga, “The Soul of the Sertao” (“sertao” being the term for Brazil’s arid Brazilian hinterlands). Widely regarded as the foremost ambassador of forro, Curto takes the accordion to town in unlikely selections such as the traditional blues ballad “John the Revelator.” Matuto means “bumpkin” in Brazilian slang, but this band aims for the heights of world-music sophistication.” - Chicago Sun Times

“The joyous, ebullient music of Matuto merges the forro folkloric music of Brazil with the sounds of all-American bluegrass. Violin, accordion and a range of Brazilian percussion give this band, founded by South Carolina native Clay Ross, a seductively cross-cultural appeal.” - Chicago Tribune

“In the past 3 years, he was the guy in the band who evolved the most, turning into this incredible, multidimensional musician. I don’t feel like Clay just went and got a rhythm from Brazil and put another music style on top. He assimilated Northeastern Brazilian music and created a new conception.” – Cyro Baptista in the Down Beat Magazine Feature

“Mr. Ross is a very deft guitarist with a rich vocabulary of folk, blues, and jazz at his disposal…” – Wall Street Journal

“Countrified licks and insinuating samba groves merge in weird and wonderful ways on this unorthodox and delightful debut.” – Jazz Times Magazine

“Matuto created an unforgettable evening for the lucky people who were there.” Reading Eagle

“Meaning ‘country boy’ in Brazilian, Matuto is nothing if not urbane and infectious.” – Recordonline

“The accordion will make you want to throw salt on your hardwood floors and two-step with someone.” – The Examiner

“While many bands attempt ambitious fusion projects, few succeed in such an authentic way.” – RootsWorld

“The sound resulting from Matuto’s lab is a mature blend which seems to expand and update the musical legacy of MPB (Musica Popular Brasileria), refreshing the relationship that for so many decades has existed between U.S. American folk musics and Brazil’s own musical heritage.” – Black Grooves

“A modernized take on music that has made people celebrate in the streets since Jefferson bought some land from Napoleon.” – Jazz Weekly

“Blazingly tight” – Style Weekly, Richmond VA 

“Brooklyn’s Matuto blends Brazilian and Appalachian sounds, yielding an odd yet highly palatable mix.” - Time Out 

“To finish off their set, Matuto went for a crowd participation number, giving a relatively complicated melodic line to their willing audience, and encouraging them to clap and dance along. It worked well, and the GrassRoots crowd enjoyed every minute of it.” – About.com/World Music

“What do you get when you mix North American folk music with the music of northeastern Brazil? The answer is found in the music of Matuto, a New York City-based band that blends these different musical styles beautifully.” – CBC

“spanning continents with a down-home sensibility and an explorer’s curiosity.” – All About Jazz

“Ross has earned Jazz Ambassador status for his guitar stylings, but his new disc, Matuto, is a subtle blend of bluegrass and baiao that adds playful vocals, cavaquinho, and kashaka to his musical arsenal.” – Bold Life Magazine

“Ross hits upon the shared joy in rural music from everywhere.” – Free Times, Columbia SC

“Best of 2009 World Music… Telecaster-wielding songwriter Clay Ross is leading the guitar-meets-world revolution” – wnyc.org

“Clay Ross thinks like a Poet, writes like a Novelist and plays the guitar like a Master.” – Jambase.com

“Sly, subtle wit colors his guitar style: playful and humorous but deeply complex.”– Jambands.com

“Ross makes music that swirls samba and other Latin rhythms around while retaining a melodic essence intimately familiar to most Americans… the tracks have the easy appeal one would expect from the source materials… Ross feels as at ease with one style as another, making the blend all the more organic…it’s true world beat.” – TheBigTakeover.com

“Clay Ross demonstrated that not all Americans who have the will to be Brazilian are boring…His sound tries to mix the old west and the sertão in a stylized way, but it’s all so much fun that it doesn’t sound artificial.” – Reciferock.com

“Clay Ross has created a stunning cross-cultural statement with Matuto”– Limewire.com

“Clay Ross and his MATUTO group really shook the place up – Bluegrass Hillbilly meets Brazilian Folk Beats in a head-on celebration – !! – making this nite on par with the top 5 mostmemorable live music acts we have ever seen, and we’ve seen a few !!! MATUTO – is a LIVEWIRE ACT – you do NOT !! want to miss.” – Artloversny.com

“…restrained virtuosic skill and a joyful anything-goes attitude…a unique musical vision.” – Virginian Pilot

“Clay has a passionate, unique and personal voice that awakens feelings in audiences. On the improvisational side, he has listened to the greatest of those who are speaking, and this adds to his own distinct voice: a sweet, sometimes melancholic, but always precise one.” – Jazzreview.com

“There’s a lot of musical talent in the Upstate, but we rarely see one of our own go on to bigger and better things, Anderson guitar prodigy Clay Ross is a rare exception.” – James Nichols, Greenville Metrobeat.