The Windjammer celebrates 40 years

The Killer Whales and Jupiter Coyote headline two special concerts



The Killer Whales (back in the day)
  • provided
  • The Killer Whales (back in the day)
Isle of Palms bar and music venue the Windjammer — one of the longest-running music clubs in the Lowcountry — will be celebrating a 40th anniversary this summer with special events in July and August.

The Windjammer opened as a basic beach tavern in 1972 under the management of Malcolm Burgis and his brother James. Current manager and co-owner Bobby Ross came to work at the club as a bartender in 1980. In the early ’80s, the Jammer started booking a regular rotation of local rock, blues, and country bands along with some big-name touring acts. It underwent a total rebuilding after Hurricane Hugo struck the island in 1989, and it’s been at full steam ever since.

On Sat. July 21, the Windjammer will present a classic Charleston rock showcase billed as the “first of two 40-year celebrations.” It will feature a roster of old-school musicians who played at the Jammer back in the day. Power trio the Killer Whales — singer/guitarist David Bethany, bassist Jim Blakeslee, and drummer Murphy Pitts — were one of Charleston’s most accomplished and original New Wave bands in the late ’70s and early ’80s. They’ll headline the bash at 9 p.m. Veteran blues/soul-rock band Johnny Mac and the BootyRanch, local Americana songwriter Ed Hunnicutt, and bar-rock band Free Mountain Standstill (a local act from the late ’70s) share the bill. The music starts on the deck at 4 p.m.

On Sat. Aug. 11, Georgia-based jamgrass/groove-rock band Jupiter Coyote will headline the second showcase. Splitting their base between North Carolina and Georgia lead singer/guitarist John Felty and the band were a mainstay at the Windjammer throughout the 1990s and 2000s. The band plays select tour dates these days. Advance tickets for both anniversary events are available for $12.

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