Each month GoGirlsMusic.com spotlights an artist or band from its community, asking a series of questions. This month we feature Georgia musician Kris Youmans. She’s been nominated for Female Artist of the Year at the Georgia Country Awards. Impressive! And she is the co-coordinator for the Carrollton Chapter of NSAI. Enjoy!
The first time I heard Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. At a young age I knew I wanted to play & write songs. I could relate to the music and could not put that aside… My mother bought me my first guitar at age 10, and being around family & friends who loved all genres of music helped to inspire me.
Describe your music style and name musicians you have been inspired by and why.
I think my original music is a combination of Americana, country & Folk and maybe not in that order. The Blues has always been a deep love of mine, I’m thankful that my brother Eric Culberson has achieved so much in that genre & made it easy for the rest of us to soak in as much of it as we can. I’m inspired by James Taylor, Janis Ian, Carole King, & now, Allison Moorer, Lucinda Williams, & Susan Tedeschi.
What’s your ideal venue atmosphere?
The ideal venue would be one of two… either out on the dock with lots of folks at the end of the day… salt water, shrimp & crabs & folks gathered on the bluff…. or a venue where the music is the reason for their existence…. Good sound & lighting & a place where you are close to the audience.
Describe how your music career has evolved since you first started performing.
My music career started as a longing to play & write songs, I would write the lyrics first & try to come up with “something pretty” on the guitar to go along with it… But now I really enjoy the whole process of writing, playing, recording & performing. There’s nothing like hearing an idea in my head for a song & then watching it become a completed project in the studio.
I started as a solo act-performing original music in coffee houses & pubs in Savannah, Ga. Moved to Charleston & became part of a duo act there. Back to Savannah, & after marriage & kids I sort of put it all aside, except for being a part of some of the music programs in church, working with the youth… Now “mom” is back out there playing again, & I’m hoping the kids are pleased that I have never really given up on something that I love so much . It’s not a dream out of reach- I’m doing what I love by presenting my original music & there are so many levels & layers that we can all fit into, as musicians & songwriters.
There is a huge amount of talent in this area… Newnan & Northwest Georgia is a source of well known & up & coming singers & songwriters. I don’t see a lot of venues that cater to the quality of the artists that is surrounding them… but there are a few & I would like to mention Lowell Opry House, Hollonville Opry House, & the Moonshadow Music Hall.
What do you think is number one for a musician to think about before preparing for a CD project and do you have any tips on saving time in the studio?
Choosing a studio where the staff takes time to know who you are as an artist- what you’re trying to create, with the experience to help make it happen, is so important. There are a lot of studios out there now, and a lot of them are affordable, producing great results. Southside Tracks in Roopville, Ga is the studio of choice for me on my new project.
What makes or breaks a musician just starting out in your opinion?
Recognizing that the passion you have for your music is not just a hobby, that it is actually something big enough to keep pushing you along.
The toughest moments came when I felt that the people around me weren’t “on my side” that maybe what I wanted was not important enough to pursue. But I found there are no negatives in creating…. Things don’t always happen at my expected rate of speed, sometimes they happen in a way that will ultimately have more impact… Patience linked with confidence has helped along the way.
What advice would you offer up and coming artists that get discouraged other than don’t give up?
Surround yourself with motivated, inspired people that also love what ‘they’ do – people who know that the business of music can be just as important as creating the music. Associate with people who want to help, then ask questions, gather resources… And of course continue to be inspired & write.
Tell us something you want the music world to know about you.
I love my family more than anything, my children are my legacy, and music makes me happy… simple.
What have you gotten out of being a member of the GoGirls community?
GoGirls is wonderful… Resources abound & everyone is supportive of each other… I have found new friends, and helpful info on all levels & appreciate the GoGirls organization!