The Quickening celebrate Begin Again at the Maple Leaf Bar tonight, 6/8

It’s been five years since guitarist Blake Quick started his band The Quickening and three years since the current lineup was solidified. The group is very excited to celebrate the release of Begin Again, their second album, on Friday night at the Maple Leaf Bar. They are promising special guests, free pizza, and a visual presentation befitting the band’s psychedelic sensibilities.

Begin Again represents a new stage for a band that tore it up the last time I saw them at the French Quarter Festival. But that’s nothing unusual because they bring great energy, guitar pyrotechnics, and a danceable funky vibe to every show.

Drummer Jeff Jani and bassist “Big Tall” Al Small were not part of the incarnation of band that released their debut in 2014. Quick says, “These guys really get the sound I’m trying to achieve and help out tremendously on song structure and production.”

He also concurs with most fans when he describes guitarist Dave Easley as the group’s “secret weapon.” Easley has been a fixture on the local scene for decades and his easy rapport with his younger bandmates is as important as his powerful work on both the pedal steel and the standard electric guitar.

Vocalist Rachel “Mama Ray” Murray is also a critical component to the ensemble. She has sung and danced on stage alongside Quick since the band’s inception. When they sing together, you can literally feel the musical chemistry.

The show will feature Alex Harvie painting live, free pizza from Mid City Pizza, and sit-ins by Marc Paradis of Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes and Brandon Lewis of the Preservation Jazz Hall Band. Captain Sasquatch will provide the aforementioned visuals.

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