At the Jewish Mother nightclub and restaurant, musicians in three divisions will compete for the chance to advance to the contest's final rounds in Memphis next year. The local Natchel' Blues Network is sponsoring the Hampton Roads contest.
In the Youth Division, local contenders include two Virginia Beach acts, Carbon Jam and The Renegades, as well as
The Solo/Duo Division will pit Forrest and Kaylon McDonald from Midlothian against Shawn "Dirty" Strickland from Pennyslvania.
The Band Division will find five bands competing for the prize: the Lisa Lim Band from Northern Virginia; the H.M. Johnson Band from Hampton Roads; Pig Foot Riot from
Players in The UnXpected range in age from 10 to 15. At the group's core are bassist and singer Logan Layman, 12, and her guitarist-singer brother, Cole Layman, 15. Kevin Marks, 12, plays drums. Tyler Bevington, 10, plays piano. Zachary Salsberry, 12, is a guitarist.
The Layman kids also play music with their mother, Sandy Layman, in the Williamsburg-based group In Layman Terms.
Mom said the The UnXpected players are looking forward to Sunday's competition.
"They say it's an honor to be playing on the same stage as all of these bands," she said. "They're just excited. They know they're up against great competition ... They have a great attitude about it."
Sunday's judges will be Paul Shugrue of WHRV-FM's "Out of the Box"; Tina Terry, a booking agent for Piedmont Talent; and Hunter Hughes, host of the Internet radio program "Hunter at Sunrise."