Over the last 50 years, blues stylist Buddy Guy has won more W.C. Handy awards than anyone can count. He has also scooped up a handful of Grammy Awards and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, his critical acclaim and commercial success were not automatic. Guy was 21 when he first settled in Chicago and landed work as a session player on recordings by such notables as Howlin’ Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson. For many years thereafter, Guy toiled in obscurity at the legendary Chess Records label while his innovative creations were underappreciated and often shelved by the powers-that-be (including Leonard Chess himself). It was only through Guy’s enormous influence on subsequent generations of players, including Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and later Stevie Ray Vaughn and George Thorogood, that his fortunes and status began to change. In the aftermath of the blues-rock explosion of the late 1960s, Buddy Guy was finally recognized as a visionary and a living legend by people in the know. Martin Scorsese even featured him in the film Lightning In A Bottle. Still, he was largely overlooked by the masses until another blues revival came along in the late 1980s. From that point on, sales of Guy’s new releases and remarkably large back-catalog have justifiably skyrocketed, and his high-energy concerts have consistently sold out. Guy’s visit across the river next Friday will likely do the same. The August 22 show at Horseshoe Casino starts at 8 p.m. and will feature an opening set by the aforementioned Thorogood. As a singer, guitar player and overall blues enthusiast, Thorogood is still bad to the bone. For more information on this red hot concert and special packages being offered by Horseshoe, visit http://tinyurl.com/6634bo.