“Good Morning New Orleans” is the song that Aaron Benjamin told himself he was definitely not going to sing on this Happy Hour. So, what does he end up singing?
It’s the song he wrote about his two day trip to New Orleans after he had decided definitely not to move here. Are you starting to see a pattern? If you’re not familiar with Aaron’s music, and especially his voice, you’re in for a shock – as was everybody around the table at Wayfare in Uptown New Orleans.
Kenny Bellau is a legitimate hero. Google his name and see what comes up: stories about how, single-handed, he rescued over 400 people from the floodwaters of Katrina. Besides his real-life hurricane heroics, Kenny spent 30 years as a world-class competitive cyclist, racing against household names like Lance Armstrong, who Kenny says was a jerk from way back when he was 17. Kenny has an amazing number of extraordinary stories, all of which culminate in his current position – you’re not even going to believe this, but he’s a movie star! Kenny stars in his first movie that was written specifically for him, Fast Food & Cigarettes.
Rachel Dangermond makes a return to Happy Hour after having an extraordinary life change. The last time we saw Rachel she was a writer and social activist in New Orleans. Today she is the owner of The 100 Men Hall in Bay St Louis, Mississippi, a historic meeting place and fixture in African American life, famous for hosting concerts by the likes of James Brown, Ray Charles, Professor Longhair, Etta James, Sam Cooke and many more. Rachel was led to the hall to be the white owner of a historic black icon by the desire to move to the beach, and gigantic and inexplicable forces in the universe.
Photos by Jill Lafleur.