Since she was reared here, Kris Youmans has lived in St. Mary's and now calls Atlanta home.

Between her travels and parenting, her music career is something she's stayed with throughout the years. It's something she still pours her time and heart into.

Youmans has now lived in Atlanta for as long as she'd lived in Savannah, during a time when she remembers listening to music at Night Flight Café and her first few gigs at the Hilton De Soto lounge.

Her second gig was at a Howard Johnson's.

"I played anywhere I could in Savannah, by myself, with my little P.A. system," she said.

American blues guitarist Eric Culberson and Gordon Perry were major support systems for Youmans in the beginning.

"Back in the late '70s, there was just several places to play, and I didn't know where to go or what to do, and they would ask me to get up and play," she said. "And that's just how I got started back then. Then when I started playing on my own, they'd help me tow my equipment or help when they were done with their gig."

Their inspiration and support has largely remained, even after years and geographic distance.

"It's been inside me through the years," she said. "It's been a wonderful thing to have that experience and to have them as an inspiration. And they are always out at my shows."

The Kris Youmans Band includes Warren "Barefoot Slim" Hall, Dave Puett, Stuart Lee and Youmans on guitar and vocals.

"These guys that are playing are pro players. They're just great," she said.

Lately she's been able to get back to songwriting and playing more in the metropolitan Atlanta area, and hopes to carve out a place here, where her music and band will stand out as unique, offering something other than the mainstream country, bluesy dance music.

"We're not a country dance band, so I'm not sure what's out there in Savannah that we'd fit into. So I'm hoping to get back down there and play more," she said.

Over the years, her influences have varied, shifting between Hank Williams, Bob Dylan and Wayne "The Train" Hancock, giving her music an effusive Western-infused bluesy country mix that keeps her reaching for a goal she began chasing long ago.

"I'm writing heartfelt songs inspired by my life. It's a great thing. It just couldn't get any better," she said. "I'm gonna do the best I can do. I don't do it just for fun; I do it because it's a passion and I'm gonna take it as far as I can and enjoy it along the way."

The band, nominated in the Americana category in the Georgia Music Awards show last year, will release its latest nine-song album, untitled at the moment, on iTunes in the coming weeks.