Artist Spotlight

Carlie Armstrong / Matador Records

1. The group, which was founded in 1984 in Hoboken, New Jersey, takes its name from a sporting anecdote: Legend has it that during the 1962 season two members of the New York Mets––center fielder Richie Ashburn and shortstop Elio Chacon––collided on an all-too-frequent basis. A native of Venezuela, Chacon was confused when Ashburn would yell, “I’ve got it!” as he was going after a ball. A teammate intervened and told Ashburn that he might have more luck yelling "¡Yo la tengo!" (Spanish for “I’ve got it!”) instead. He did––only to be knocked about by left fielder Frank Thomas, who allegedly quipped, “What’s a yellow tango?”

Pamela Littky / New West Records

With a career that dates back to the late 1960s Richard Thompson has recorded in numerous musical idioms and earned accolades for virtually every turn he's taken, but perhaps his most impressive moment as a recording artist came in 2002 with the album 1000 Years of Popular Music.

Formed in 1979 by brothers Bob (guitar) and Tommy (bass) Stinson, guitarist/vocalist Paul Westerberg, and drummer Chris Mars, The Replacements became a band on the fast track to success. By 1980 the group had a contract with the local Twin/Tone label and, by late 1981, its first album.

Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Carlos Santana have long admired Peter Green’s playing and B.B. King once said that there was only one guitarist who gave him “the cold sweats.” Born October 29, 1946, Green would found one of the most successful rock bands of all time, leave behind stardom as part of a spiritual quest, and see his legacy swell in his prolonged absence from the spotlight.

Formed nearly a decade ago in Wichita, Spirit of the Stairs has consistently evolved in unexpected but always fascinating ways. From its earliest days as a guitarless trio to its current incarnation as a guitar-heavy quintet, the all-instrumental ensemble has never disappointed.

Though Stevie Ray Vaughan's main career spanned less than a decade, he managed in that short time to help spark a new interest in blues, established himself as one of the great guitarists of popular music, and won a prominent place in fans hearts where he remains to this day, over twenty years since his passing in a tragic helicopter accident in August, 1990.

Though now recognized as one of the greats of the blues and one of the best guitarists of all time, Buddy Guy didn’t find recognition or success quickly or easily.