Roatan’s Beauty, Truth & Wisdom

Clint Matute with his guitar.

 

A Local Guitarist Captivates Islanders with his Tunes

Clint Matute exudes an air of confidence with a hint of arrogance and with good reason. He is considered by his peers and his fans to be the greatest guitar player on the island of Roatan. Clint has been wooing crowds around the islands for a decade, playing the acoustic or the electric guitar with spot-on precision, not missing a beat or a note. All the while delighting the audience with his deep soulful vocals.

“He could make the guitar talk, he could make her call your name if he wants to” said William Gale, a childhood friend of Mr. Matute with whom he learned to play the guitar back when they were youngsters playing for the crowd at the Methodist church in Pandy Town.

Clint also sings. His voice could easily be compared to that of those blues singers who have weathered the storms of life and tellof their tragic stories with raw and skillful vocal renditions of deeply felt songs that tug at the heart.

Clint was first introduced to the acoustic guitar by his father who was a preacher and the musician at the Methodist church. The duo has played together since Clint was 12. “Music is life, it’s my passion,” says the forty-something Clint who has been playing around the island at places like Tranquil Seas in Sandy Bay and B.J’s in Oak Ridge.

I would never say that I’m the best, that is up to the audience to decide

Clint’s father, who now lives in Louisiana and who was his greatest motivator always pushing his son to practice, visited a few years back and heard his son playing at a local event. His dad was so amazed and touched by his son’s growth and artistry that it brought tears to his eyes. He’s seen the pupil outgrow the teacher musically.

Bringing tears to his father’s eyes is no isolated occurrence. The mesmerizing picking of each string attached to his Seagull brand guitar and the soulful sound of each vocal note has brought many fans to tears.

When asked if he is the greatest player on the island he responded immediately “I would never say that I’m the best, that is up to the audience to decide. (…) there are other great players like Junior Bodden of Saint Helena, he is a great musician.”

One of the things that separates this skillful player from the crowd of musicians on the island is the passion with which he performs. When Clint is playing, or singing, you can feel the music, you can see and feel the passion emanating from every vocal note and every maneuver of the fingers across the strings of his guitar. “The music takes over and you do thing you would not normally do, the music takes control”, he says.

Clint describes his musical style as Caribbean, but he also plays and sings blues, country and religious music, all styles that he listened to while growing up. “I would like to play in New Orleans where the great players are from.”

Like most musicians on the island, Clint doesn’t read music but his hearing is so fine-tuned that he could immediately tell if a player has missed, or played a wrong note.

Clint says that practice is what makes a good guitar player and from the sound of it, he has been doing a lot of practicing.

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