Tag Archives: Matuto

Matuto

Matuto

Almost exactly a year ago, rvamag.com published an interview I did with Matuto, a thrilling and innovative NYC-based group that takes strands from different forms of traditional music — American bluegrass and Brazilian forró being two — and interweave them via fun songwriting and truly spectacular musicianship. At the time, the group was fresh off a sold-out Lincoln Center show where they debuted a new piece called “Africa Suite.” That suite just hit the interweb in the form of an EP, and it’s excellent.

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Hurray for the Riff Raff

Hurray for the Riff Raff

Quick addendum to Wednesday’s post:

When I wrote about KONGOS, I talked about how the combination of bass, accordion and guitar reminded me of South Africa and Paul Simon’s Graceland, a comparison that was helped along by the fact that I looked the Kongos brothers up on Wikipedia while I was listening to their album for the first time and saw that they had roots in South Africa. Meanwhile, sitting in my drafts folder were the beginnings of my Hurray for the Riff Raff post. I’d listened to Small Town Heroes all the way through (and have been enjoying it a great deal), but I’d forgotten/failed to notice that it employs that same combination of instruments on “End Of The Line.”

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Top 10 Albums of 2013

Countdown gif

It’s customary to start year-end lists by chewing some fat about how making them is strange and difficult work, and in general, I find that these intros can be exceedingly skippable. Everyone knows that album rankings are subjective (even when they’re created on behalf of a publication or website), and no one needs to be reminded that the list maker didn’t listen — and couldn’t have listened, of course! — to every single thing that came out in the preceding 12 months. You don’t share Santa Claus’ knack for bending the space-time continuum. Understood. But before I get to my Top 10 albums, I would like to share a quick story about how I came up with my list, and how Beyoncé helped me find meaning in this whole strange and difficult exercise.

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Matuto

Matuto

A quick observation from last night’s show at Balliceaux:

Matuto does lots of things well. They’ve mastered their instruments. They get the crowd going. They know more about the history of the styles they invoke than most bands ever will. They write songs that are challenging and catchy at the same time. These were the factors I knew to look for after having seen them in June.

But something struck me last night that I didn’t pick up on the first time, and it’s not even necessarily something they do. It’s more of an effect they have that’s just as exceptional as the abilities listed above. Call it affective flexibility.

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Matuto

Matuto article 2

In June of this year, I was up in Harrisburg, PA — Mrs. YHT’s hometown — and I caught my first glimpse of Matuto at the music venue that occupies the second floor of the Appalachian Brewing Company. I was stunned. Taken aback. Gobsmacked.

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Filed under #interviews, #live