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Check out what music is being reviewed by The Virginian-Pilot.

Clay Ross - 'Matuto'

Clay RossThe title for composer, singer and guitarist Clay Ross’ latest is Brazilian slang for “country bumpkin.”

Backed by a flute-fiddle-accordion-bass-percussion combo, the South Carolina native creates an unusual blend of Appalachian bluegrass, Brazilian folk/carnival music and Delta blues with a little pure pop.   The album kicks into high gear with “Recife,” a frenetic Brazilian hoedown, followed by the tongue-in-cheek musings of the mundane in “What a Day.”

Throughout the recording, Ross and his acoustic mates mash up styles, all energized by Brazilian percussive instruments and bluegrass picking. There’s the rustic, spooky blues of“John the Revelator,” the pastoral lyricism of “Feel, Like a Song” and the Brit-pop feel of “Maria’s Lullaby.”

With restrained virtuosic skill and a joyful anything-goes attitude, Ross and colleagues demonstrate that being a country bumpkin can result in a unique musical vision.

– Eric Feber, The Pilot

Tracks to download  “Banks of the Ohio,” “Zydaco Mondo”

Buy "Matuto" in MP3 format (Link goes to Amazon.com)

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