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Shem Creek Boogie Band / Bio

The Shem Creek Boogie Band began playing a weekly Thursday night gig in 1991 at the legendary Trawler Restaurant, situated along Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant. Thus the name.The band is comprised of Michael 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. Sullivan acts as the Shem Creek band's booking manager as well.

Frontman Michael 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. 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 is the newest member of the band. 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, he 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.

Theses days, as a tight-knit quartet, 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.

Just let us know your preferences, and we’ll make sure your party is everything you always dreamed of.

General Info

Band Members
Ballard Lesemann - Drums/Vocals, Michael Beard - Vocals/Trumpet, John Sullivan - Bass/Vocals, Herb Stokes - Guitar/Vocals
Artist Name
Shem Creek Boogie Band
Home Page
Rock / Beach / Shag

Contact Info

Mount Pleasant, SC