At this stage of a 30-year career, one could ask Fairfax guitar virtuoso Michael Fath whether there is any musical genre he hasn't tackled?
R&B? A young Fath cut his teeth touring with D.C. hitmakers Peaches and Herb in the 1970s. Classical? Check out Fath's solo release "Profile," from 1985. Heavy metal? On 1989's "Flick of the Wrist," Fath shreds with the best of them. Bluegrass? That would be "Country Squire" from 1995.
Whatever guitar-centered musical style you can think of, Fath can answer, "Been there, done that." Art rock, hard rock, power pop, jazz, country, flamenco, blues, rockabilly, roots rock; Fath has it all covered and covered well. Over the years critics have fallen all over themselves trying to find a way to express the breadth of Fath's eclectic and imaginative approach to his instrument and the mastery of technique he exhibits in performance and on record.
A guitarist's guitarist, Fath's name is well known by fellow six-stringers, but he has never embedded himself in the national consciousness as has, say, Edward Van Halen or Chet Atkins. His relative obscurity is probably attributable in part to Fath's refusal to be pigeonholed and his willingness to continue exploring his eclectic tastes while enjoying the status of a local legend.
Sunday night's show at Jammin' Java celebrates the rerelease of Fath's "Yesterday's Child," a jazz-rock fusion album from 2001 with drummer Andy Hamburger and bassist Chris Neubauer. The trio is offering free copies of the CD with each paid admission.
-- C. WOODROW IRVIN
Jammin' Java is at 227 Maple Ave. E. Tickets are $15 and are available online at www.jamminjava.com. For information, call 703-255-1566 or visit www.michaelfath.com.