Some guitarists just have a way of playing solos that make the hair on your neck stand up and add a vital dose of energy to any song. Steve Connelly’s been delivering that juice for decades. He is unequivocally a Bay area legend, most notably as a founding member of The Headlights, a lodestar of the local scene from the early 1980s to the mid-’90s. (The band did a stint backing up ex-Byrd Roger McGuinn on tour and played “The Tonight Show” in ‘91). Connelly, who has owned and run Zen Recording in Pinellas Park for more than 20 years, is also a sharp-eared producer and engineer, and does some credible singing. But it’s his guitar work—played with a profound inner ecstasy—that has left the biggest mark on the Tampa Bay music scene. zenrecording.com —Eric Snider
See all winners from Best of the Bay 2020.