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Whitt Algar brings the jam sessions back to the Tavern

After a busy hiatus from the local band scene, longtime Charleston musician and songwriter Whitt Algar has officially jumped back into things with a residency at the Village Tavern. Handling vocal and guitar duties with a bit of keyboard and percussion work, he's confirmed on the venue's winter schedule for solo shows on Tuesday nights and "Open Jam" sessions on Sunday nights.

Algar, a 24-year-old Mt. Pleasant native, formed the eclectic trio Red Hitt in 2000 with his older brother Jim Algar — a multi-instrumentalist who shared guitar and vocal roles. Drummer Kevin "The Rhythm Merchant" Bingham rounded out the lineup. Red Hitt released a self-titled disc in '01 and a more fully-produced follow-up, titled Walk the Outer Style, in '02. Their music grooved with a jazzy mix of what they called "neo-soul-driven rock 'n' roll."

"My brother Jim and I are starting a weekly 'open jam' back up again," he says. "We used to do it there on Mondays a year ago, and we always had a good crowd. Any musician is welcome to come out and join us. Jim and I play a little bit of everything, so if a guitar player shows up, we'll play bass and drums ... or if a drummer shows up, we'll play guitar and keys, you know?"

"With pretty much any good tune, I'll learn it and try and make it interesting," Algar adds. "You don't want to just get up there and be a jukebox; you want to really try and make it your own the best you can. It is Charleston, so, you know, people don't want to hear your crap all night [laughs]."

Whitt Algar conducts an "open jam" on Sun. Jan. 15 and performs solo on Tues. Jan. 17 at the Village Tavern. Admission is free.


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