HAPPY HOUR is a cocktail-fueled 60 minutes of random conversation with folks who have nothing in common, other than being New Orleanians in a bar. Featuring extraordinary New Orleans musicians playing live, host Grant Morris and sidekick deluxe Andrew Duhon.
What do you call a jam cruise that doesn’t have a jam band, but does have a funny poignant singer-songwriter, a 5-string bass-player bandleader, a solo act, and an artist? In other words, the three musicians and an artist who walked in to Wayfare for this week’s Happy Hour.
While the panel never quite comes to an answer, they do make the case that no matter what form their work takes, New Orleans artists have a lot in common.
Anastasia Pelias is a visual artist whose most recent exhibition, Sisters, paid tribute to great female singers. Her favorite critique came from the cable guy, who talked for 20 minutes about her work. And don’t >mess< with her daughters - Anastasia is of Greek heritage and warns the New Orleans Greek community is “a powerful association.”
Musician Davis Rogan knows a fair bit about New Orleans Greeks - he’s married to one. Davis says he got his start in entertainment reading PSAs about VD on WTUL at the age of 10, and decided to become a musician when he “wrote some funny words and then picked up a little piano.” These days he handles all talent booking for the newly renovated Carver Theater.
One of the acts Davis is looking to book is Naughty Professor, one of Noah Young's many musical projects. Noah is a 5-string bass player who came to New Orleans by way of Vermont to study jazz at Loyola University, where Naughty Professor got its name from a hot teacher. Noah has just released a CD with his own group, the less imaginatively-named Noah Young Band.
Andrew Duhon - who is performing under the name Andrew Duhon until he thinks of something more clever - is back in the co-pilot’s chair. Andrew discusses jam cruises and suggests Naughty Professor should get a cruise gig, leading to speculation about what a cruise featuring this week's Happy Hour would be called.
Pinch-hitting for Grant is Peter Ricchiuti, the host of another It’s New Orleans podcast, Out to Lunch. Peter also teaches at Tulane’s business school, and after 30 years in academia says what he really wants to be is a naughty professor. He leads the group in an insightful conversation about what it’s like to be an artist in New Orleans.