Don’t let his moniker fool you, Mat Toronto is a local musician (and a talented one at that).

He can sing as well as play drums, bass, harmonica, sax, flute, bongos, piano, guitar and more. On top of being a multi-instrumentalist, he also crosses over into many genres of music.

Under the name Blues River Man, he performs incredible, unique hard rock and blues; as Matthew Folk he does great traditional and alt-folk, and also dabbles in electronic jazz with Jam Bodhi.

You’ll soon be able to purchase more of his amazing work as he’s working on a new CD to be released in January of 2010.


FAULT: You play Guitars, Bass, Harp, Drums, Pianos, what is your favourite instrument?

I really enjoy playing each instrument due to the unique characteristics each instrument has. Bass is a challenge because the strings are very thick and the action is harder to play fast. Guitar is quite interesting, electric guitar sound can range greatly due to electronics and as well as technique. The electric guitar feels like an orchestral instrument, Violins can sound very soft, or be played very loudly. Electric Guitar can be played like a voilin, with sensitivity to dynamics, as well as note choices. There is so much that a musician can imbue into their playing, subtleties that have large range of  possibilities. Some musicians play their instrument mechanically with out a lot of technique, and are more concerned with the timing and placement of each note. I play like a Jazz or Blues player, who can utilize the instrument’s quarks and unique qualities.

FAULT: Is there any other instrument you would like to learn?

I would like to play Cello with a bow. Violin would be amazing to learn and play, due to the incredible variety of tones and ranges of textures. You can make a violin cry and weep, or Thunder. This is how I approach the Electric Guitar, from subtle to grand and all the ranges in between.



FAULT: Who did you grow up listening to?

Even as young child music sounded exciting and magnetic. Making music excites me and is the reason i create and play. My first real push to play came from listening to Short Wave radio in mid 1960’s, mostly British Music and American Rock. Living in Canada, and very close to the USA border, and its radio channels,  I experienced Blues and Rock influence from English Rock guitarists like the Stones, Small Faces, and the Beatles.

FAULT: Do you come from a musical family?

Yes, my father played classical music and Jazz on Violin and Piano. Mother played upright Piano and mostly classical music and popular songs.

FAULT: You are a Composer as well as a and Musician, would you ever consider creating a film score?

I created a sound track for weekly TV series on Cable network, this ran on the TV for years and helped to find new work with music, as keyboard composer  for a few gigs.  Jambodhi is another style  I created that does sound like Sound Tracks with effects. I recently submitted 30 songs to an American company who asked for Music for popular TV shows.

FAULT: What can we expect from Blues River Man in 2011?

New material.  A new recording area is being developed, greater space to bring in additional  musical resources, such as other musicians as guests. I started another New Band,  this one is called Bandito and is Rock Instrumental Songs based on Sixties style music with Tube amps.

FAULT: What was the main inspiration behind “Eleanor Rigby has gone bohemian”?

This was done by “creating and playing” at the same time live.  The brain is fast enough to process on the spot. Somehow its like watching in the third person, you can actually witness the experience as though listening to your self play and enjoying the experience of “creating and playing”. The old familiar melody for Elanor Rigby popped into my head,  I transposed it in my head. A old familiar melody in an unfamiliar key. So, the song could have been appropriately called Searching for Elenore.  We were searching for a common ground between the Sax and the Guitar, Dave played the melody from memory, I experimented with the rhythm and timing for the guitar parts. In my mind, I tried to distill down the essence of the song into as little parts as possible. This was on the edge of creativity; somewhere between predictable and not, between concise and rigid. The music became less rigid, as sense of organic dynamic that allows breathing, the in between to exist.  Music is beauty of Sound, we can enjoy it like fine food, as something wonderful, delicious, and even sensuous.  Enjoying the sensuality of the sounds, the textures,and even the space between notes is as meaningful and moving as the notes themselves.



FAULT: What or who never fails to inspire you?

Jeff Beck at “Ronnie’s Live” was wonderful concert in small venue. Robben Ford “Live from Ohne” was superb playing and concert. Tom Petty’s new Album “Mojo” has live feel, and there were no overdubs. Inspiring music from Mike Stern, released an album called “Big Neighborhood”. This has fabulous playing and is an excellent album of Jazz and Rock Songs with Steve Vai and Eric Johnson. It is nice to preview other Musicians music on the Internet sites such as Reverberation. There is quite a lot of very good music available to play for free from the Internet.

FAULT: Who do you believe to be the greatest blues artist of all time?

There are many who could be called the Best Blues player of all time. Some that could be title holder for best are BB King, John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton, Howlin Wolf, Paul Butterfield, Amos Garret….

FAULT: What do you think of modern day Jazz?

Jazz has many variations and styles, from Ragtime, Swing to Fusion. Miles Davis changed Jazz with the 1959 release of Kinda Blue. This brought European influences into mainstream Jazz, and has changed the approach to jazz for many musicians.  The Cool sound is very interesting, easy to listen to, enjoyable as both entertainment and for musicians. Many Bands after this album, created fantastic variations on this type of music, Weather Report, Chick Corea, and even pop bands like Sting have elements of this type of jazz flavor of songs.

FAULT: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?

Don Was, the American Music producer contacted me about some of my songs. I’d love to work with a good producer. As musician, I’d like to contribute to bands that require interesting innovative rock style guitar playing. I’d love to play Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Blues Festival in Chicago with my BluesRiver and bring our Jazzy Blues songs to a wider audiance. Every year that Eric has put on this festival, these concerts have been superb platforms for raising awareness of Jazz and Blues, and for raising finances for the wonderful Crossroads charity foundation.

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

I have too much energy, too articulate, too intense, can be overwhelming. Thankfully I can relax, and learned Quiet Meditation many years ago to settle my busy intellectual brain.  A Fault I’ve had for sometime is, I’ve two speeds, turbo, and slow. Now I have developed a middle speed, that way i can work at adjustable rate with other people at their speed.


More sites from BluesRiverMan    – Jazzy Blues with Touch of Rock            – Orchestral Electronica              – ROCK Instrumental         – Pop Rock