Shem Creek Boogie band
The Shem Creek Boogie Band began playing weekly Thursday night gigs in 1991 at the legendary Trawler Restaurant, situated along Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant. Thus the name. The band is comprised of M.Q. Beard on lead vocals and trumpet, Herb Stokes on guitar and backing vocals, John Sullivan on bass and vocals, and Ballard Lesemann on drums and vocals.
Sullivan and Stokes are longtime veterans of the Lowcountry music scene. They’ve recorded, performed, and composed music together on various bands over the years, including Second Wind and Barnacle Bob. Their broad repertoire of classic rock, blues, soul, country, and pop standards reflects their vast experience as pro musicians. Frontman M.Q. Beard knows how to light up the crowd. Based in Mt. Pleasant, he has deep Southern roots with a passion for Beach Music and R&B flavor. John Sullivan Beard is always ready to entertain the crowd and keep the dance floor jumpin’. You’ll find him up front with tambourine and shakers in hand. He grew up on classic beach music by the Tams, General Johnson & Chairman of the Board, and vintage Myrtle Beach bands. He also plays trumpet as part of the “horn section” in the band. In recent years, the SCBB lineup has featured drummer Frank Cothran, guitarist/saxophonist Christopher Cisneros, and keyboardist Larry “Sugarbritches” Williams, among other special guests.Drummer Ballard Lesemann joined the group in 2013. Born and raised in Charleston, he spent 15 years working in Athens, Ga., as a professional musician, journalist, and craft beer enthusiast before returning to the Lowcountry in 2005. While working as the music editor for the Charleston City Paper, Lesemann rekindled his interest in Carolina beach music after reviewing Myrtle Beach disc jockey John Hook (a.k.a. “‘Fessa” John Hook) 2006 book Shagging in the Carolinas. Lesemann currently runs the indie music blog MetronomeCharleston.com. Bruce Szego is the newest member of the band. A longtime musician in the Lowcountry band scene, Szego can handle the drum kit, a battery of hand percussion instruments, piano, and keys — and he sings very well, too. Theses days, as a tight-knit quintet, the Shem Creek band provides a full entertainment experience at shows and events. When the band takes a break, DJ Magic Mike spins the latest Top 40 club dance tunes, classic and contemporary country favorites, and dance hits from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. DJ sets can also can include such line dances by request as “The Wobble,” “Cupid Shuffle,” “The Wop,” “Electric Slide,” and “Mambo #5.” DJ Magic Mike also has an excellent set full of “Michael Buble-type” reception primers to set the mood during everyone’s arrival and dinner.