The Landon Spradlin Blues Band, led by Virginia nondenominational minister Landon Spradlin, came out on top at the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society Blues Challenge at Zion Bar & Grille in Greensboro on Oct. 12. Morganton’s WSNB landed in second, and Greensboro’s All Blues — featuring Terry VunCannon, Bob Sykes, Rob Slater, Mike Thomas and Steve Clarke — took the bronze. The Spradlin blues band joins Bump & Logie, winners of the solo and duo contest, in advancing to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in February. As a result of its win the Spradlin blues band also garners a slot at the Carolina Blues Festival in downtown Greensboro next spring. Greensboro’s Irata plays the Trash Bar in New York City on Thursday as part of the CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival. Suckerpunch fights dirty at the newly opened Oasis Club in Winston-Salem on Thursday. Laurelyn Dossett of Polecat Creek and Rhiannon Giddens of the acclaimed Carolina Chocolate Drops appear at the Green Burro in Greensboro on Thursday as part of the Dot Matrix Project. The Tim Betts Band, whose front man hails from Sedalia, brings its road blues to the Blind Tiger in Greensboro on Thursday. Time for Three performs with the Greensboro Symphony at War Memorial Auditorium in Greensboro on Thursday and Saturday. Carrie Underwood brings her “Carnival Ride Tour” with guests Little Big Town to Joel Coliseum Theatre in Winston- Salem on Friday. Lowry, Porter Block and Rooster for the Masses make a triumvirate at the Garage in Winston-Salem on Friday, while Life Trip appears at Elliott’s Revue. Old Stone Revue and Big Daddy Love show up at the Blind Tiger. Hometown heroes House of Fools joins Medusa Stone and Down on Luck at Greene Street in Greensboro on Friday, and Please Welcome unrolls the mat for itself at the Rhinoceros Club. Meanwhile, the Leeves pay some more dues at 915 Skatepark. Fast Lane runs through the paces at Riders in the Country in Greensboro on Friday and Saturday. The Leeves resurface at the Soundvent in Thomasville on Saturday. Tater and the bo-stevens join forces at the Garage on Saturday, and the Baker Family Band plays Elliott’s Revue. Greensboro Symphony Conductor Dmitry Sitkovetsky will be among the judges at the fourth annual Charles A. Lynam Vocal Competition at the UNCG School of Music on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26. Sopranos, mezzos, basses and tenors compete at the event sponsored by the UNCG Opera Theatre. Holy Ghost Tent Revival and American Aquarium raise a ruckus at the Blind Tiger on Saturday, and Spank plays at Greene Street. Please Welcome is back in Greensboro at the Underground, and the New Relics play the Rhinoceros Club. Nervous But Excited celebrates the release of its new CD at the Green Bean in Greensboro on Saturday, and Kristen Leigh dips into her bag of protest songs for a performance at Maya Art Gallery. Steel drummer Tracy Thornton performs for the diners at Steak Street in High Point on Sunday, Oct. 26. The fifth annual New Music Festival, entitled “Unimaginable Music and Unruly Artists,” runs at the UNCG School of Music on Oct. 28-30. The festival features flute duo Due East, composer and vocalist Ken Ueno, visual artist Michael Basinski, Argentine composer Nora Ponte, Greensboro improvisational guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, and UNCG faculty members Mark Engebretson, Seth Ellis, Lorena GuillÃ©n, Alejandro Rutty, Steve Stusek and Inara Zandmane. Visit www.uncg.edu/mus/newmusicfest for more information. See you there.