by Zacch Estrada-Petersen

CORNELIUS – The Stoney Creek Boys, based in Cornelius, are a band of small-town guys with big-city dreams.

The quartet – all North Mecklenburg High School graduates – has been playing together in some form since 2004.

“We were all members of the marching band,” bass guitarist Will Washam said. “But we also had some extra-curricular interests that included other music and playing guitars and drum sets, so we got together and started playing then.”

It started off with Will, his brother Kevin on electric guitar, and Chris Kivett on drums. Fellow classmate Ben Tobias, a keyboardist and acoustic guitarist, joined in with them a few years later.

“Our sound has definitely been evolving over the last two years,” Will said. “Me, Kevin and Chris had all taken a break and went off to college, so that’s really when we got back together and started working on a new sound, much different than we had played before. We started tapping into our interest in country music, and then that’s also grown to expand our interest into more soulful music.”

Will counts classic rock artists such as The Doobie Brothers, The Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd among their heavier influences. The music of contemporary artists such as Darius Rucker and John Mayer has also provided inspiration for the group.

Put simply: “I’d say we have a Southern feel with some country and a little bit of funk,” Kevin Washam said.

Although the band generally plays cover songs, they have a rotation of four to six original pieces written by various members of the group. According to Will, an album recording is on their list of things to do in the coming years.

The band has developed a loyal following and has performed at a number of venues across the state.

“We’ve been playing a lot of local gigs at bars and pubs,” Will said, “And we’ve been fortunate to play some bigger ones as well. We’ve done Speed Street for a couple years in Charlotte, and we were part of a ‘Music on the Mountaintop’ festival in Boone.”

The Stoney Creek Boys will be the feature band at Paddys’ Pour House on Torrence Chapel Road in Cornelius, starting up around 10 p.m. Dec. 22.

“We’ve played there a few times before,” Kevin said. “It’s a really good place to play and a lot of our fans like to go there and watch us.”

Shannon Quan, a manager at Paddy’s Pour House, has known the band members for years and books them there regularly.

“I love those boys,” Quan said. “The reason we book them here is because we all went to school with them and we all know them, so it’s really like a reunion when they come in. With everybody coming back home for the holidays, The Stoney Creek Boys just kind of brings everybody back to the old days where we can all just be together again, listen to their music and have fun.”

Want to know more?

Visit the band online and hear clips of their music at www.reverbnation.com/thestoneycreekboys.com.