To kick off 2014, Savannah Folk Music Society president Chris Desa lined up founding members Bob and Judy Williams' band Cynergy, along with Charleston's Nick Shelton, for a family-friendly evening of folk tunes.

Desa said the monthly shows are "well-attended by a loyal music-loving audience from the greater Savannah area, including Beaufort, Hilton Head and Bluffton.

"Over the past three years, there has been a marked increase in attendance," he said.

No doubt that trend will continue into 2014, and those who come to this weekend's show are in for some unique sounds.

"We're a husband-and-wife team who occasionally add one or two other musicians to the mix," Judy Williams said. "We play a variety of instruments, including guitars, hammered dulcimer, harmonicas, mandolin, bodhran and catpaws."

During their set, Judy promises a range of Celtic, folk, blues and rock.

"Our music is eclectic, and our favorites are fingerstyle guitarists, like Robin Bullock, Al Petteway, Steve Baughman and Preston Reed," she said. "Vocalists we listen to include groups with good harmonies, like the Byrds, the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac."

Judy and Bob are originally from Baltimore, but living in the South has been a positive for their musical ventures, she said.

"The first advantage is weather. Here, it's much more conducive to playing outdoors year-round. We enjoy that, but also the hospitality and friendliness of the people here in Savannah is awesome," Judy said.

Nick Shelton also appreciates the South's influence on his music.

"I consider myself a southerner through and through. I am a farm boy from West Virginia and went to college outside of Nashville at MTSU in Murfreesboro," he said.

"I've never lived or traveled much of the U.S. outside of the Southeast. The people in the South are the kindest you could hope to meet, for the most part, and we have a rich musical history here," Shelton said.

"Early on, I was heavily influenced by bluegrass - family members were pickers - and rock in West Virginia," he said.

"Murfreesboro had a big jam band scene when I arrived there in 2000, and then I got more blues, Southern rock and jazz in college," Shelton said. "When I lived in Nashville, I really got into classic country music. All of these sounds are intrinsically Southern, in my book."

Besides Southern roots, Shelton said his songs are influenced by "the rotten luck with relationships over the years, so there's some heartbreak in there ... also a touch of storytelling and humor is always crucial.

"I've also always been fascinated by the way words sound; sometimes more than their meaning. I tend to blend my experiences with my imagination," he said.

One of his favorite lyrics comes from his 2007 song, "All Over the World."

"And the stones they throw her way/Are just a little slow for her taste/Leave her with too much time to think/And I'm left feeling this way."

Shelton said his First Friday set will be mostly original music.

"I've been trying to write more upbeat music over the last year or so, but I've been known to sing a heartbreaker or two," he said.

"My friend Ms. Aiden Malecky will sing with me on some of my songs and be doing a few of her own tunes, as well. She is the best songwriter I've met in Charleston, S.C., so far," he said.

For 2014, he's determined to get a new record out.

"I have about 30 songs I need to record. My relationship with Nashville indie label Me & the Machine has been strained by my move to the Lowcountry back in January," Shelton said. "It's tricky 'cause I currently don't have a band, so it will still be a stripped-down folk record."