Bobby Fjsh and The Magic River is musician/artist Rob Matson’s one-person show, which he performs both live, in-person, as well as on-line.  The show combines live music performance with sound-responsive digital light design and, optionally, electronics that extend the range of traditional instruments.

WDVX Blue Plate Special in Knoxville, TN, July 2023.  Check out the full interview and live performance here.  More from WDVX Radio here.

The music draws from contemporary contradance, ceilidh and English, mashed with funk and EDM.  Rob composes through improvisation as well as scores.  He performs both solo and with live multi-track overdubbing and looping.  Rob takes traditional instruments and folk tunes on a new trajectory.

Piano, keyboards, synthesizer, voice, bass and guitar are sometimes also used in live performance as well as on traditionally over-dubbed studio recordings.

Sometimes it’s purely tunes — no lights and magic.

Sometimes it’s purely acoustic (and still magical).

Most performance spaces support the digital light show, depending on the ambient lighting such as from windows.  Matson frequently performs Bobby Fjsh and the Magic River as a “daylight” show for street busking, music and art festivals, parties, contradances and square dances, all of these with or without the visuals depending on lighting.  In addition, if producers require, he can perform the music entirely acoustically as a solo show or with other musicians.

In addition to the Celtic-style tunes, Matson has also performed a range of other musical styles with his instrumentation of acoustic instruments and live multi-track overdubbing, including, but not limited to: EDM, Christmas carols, jazz standards, Broadway show tunes, Renaissance music, and classical pieces.  He was a section leader for the New York Mandolin Orchestra and has written and performed arrangements for mandolin of works by Bach, Vivaldi and Chopin.

Matson has a particular interest and deep connection to ballet, modern and contemporary dance and social dance and in performing music to support dance and movement artists.

Formally trained (University of Michigan School of Music, Ann Arbor) as a double bassist and pianist, he has studied piano with Fiona Bicket, one of New York’s premier teachers of jazz, classical and improvisational piano.  He studied string bass with some of the most influential double bass artists in the world, including: Laurence Hurst, Jeffery Bradetich and Steve Molina.

In other words, sometimes he uses electronics to extend and amplify his performance, but he can also, really, play.

Besides his solo work, Matson’s other current groups include The Faulkner County Good Time Band, with guitarist and pianist Tristan Mason, and News of the World with soprano and mandolin-player Kendall Singleton.

For bookings, rights and permissions, and any other information, please address emails, with “Bobby Fjsh” in the subject line, to RM[at]TheInnovationWorks[dot]com

Thank you,
Bobby Fjsh a.k.a., Rob Matson