The blues landscape is littered with unsung heroes like Robert Johnson, who, though deified in death, struggled in obscurity their entire lives. Buddy Guy is not one of those neglected masters. The guitar titan might be the "most-sung" blues hero. Yes, Guy was marginalized into sideman status during the '60s by his then-label boss Leonard Chess. (The Chess Records honcho thought Guy's fiery fretwork was too damn noisy.) It's also true that Guy's stateside career dropped off the map in the '70s. Yet, beginning in the '90s, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and other Guy acolytes started singing the praises of Guy's twisting, tail-spinning Telecaster while 'fessing up to copping many of the blues elder's licks. Clapton stresses that Guy is the bridge between scorching Chicago blues and modern, boogie-centric hard rock. Nearing 77, Guy is still every bit the show-boater in his flashy polka-dotted suit, soloing behind his back and with his teeth - he did that crazy shit long before Hendrix. With recent efforts, Guy has succumbed to Santana syndrome, collaborating with ill-fitting guests like Kid Rock for no good reason. Yet Guy's ebullient stage presence, roller coaster fretwork and consummate storytelling confirms his status as a living legend. With the Donna Duncan Band. $34.50-$69.50. Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m. Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. 704-372-1000.
- PAT MORAN