Play it Loud is all about exploring Oklahoma music, and it features two main segments – a live performance and an interview with the artist.
This video series is perfect for fans of good storytelling. The full second season of Play it Loud is now online, and the featured artists will perform at Grand Casino and Resort on August 17.
The creative team behind this project chose artists from around the state, some with jokes to share, some with philosophies to discuss – and all with compelling stories. This season, the artists are The Imaginaries, Samantha Crain, Jabee, and Mike McClure.
Play it Loud is a captivating, intimate and sentimental video series from the mind of Chad Mathews, hosted by Adam Hampton. While each episode holds an entirely different feeling, an overarching theme remains through them all – there’s some amazing things going on in Oklahoma. We visited the Grand Casino and Resort to chat with Mathews about Play it Loud and the future of Oklahoma music.
Chad Mathews – the man with the plan
Play it Loud started when Chad Mathews, Marketing Director for the Grand Casino, noticed what was happening in Oklahoma music and wanted to be involved.
“It’s not hard for anybody who’s even remotely close to Oklahoma City to see that stuff is happening,” Mathews said. “We wanted to be a part of the momentum that’s going on in Oklahoma City.
Mathews is a member of Outsiders Productions, and independent film company based out of Oklahoma.
Mathews asked his friend, Adam Hampton, a founding member of Outsiders Productions, to be involved in the project as the writer and director. Hampton’s main job is to interview the artist and narrate each episode.
“When I started doing this, I wanted it to be Anthony Bourdain meets Austin City Limits.”Chad Mathews
The episode begins with McClure chronicling the fights he’s witnessed in his years in performing music. That’s when you know McClure, above all else, is a storyteller. Hampton said he’s a journeyman’s journeyman, a songwriter’s songwriter.
McClure talked about his inspiration growing up, his exposure to Willie Nelson, his love of chronicling other peoples’ lives through his music. And he told the story of his first experience recording and the first time he ever heard himself on the radio. And he told all these stories like he was still there in the moment.
McClure told Hampton about the drive of an artist, the momentum of songwriting.
“Comfort will take away that drive. I think it’s that hunger, the hunger for someone to hear your stuff, you know. And then someone likes it, and you make more to keep going and then after a while, if you get too comfortable, then you don’t have that hunger.”Mike McClure
McClure is originally from Tecumseh, and his career took off with the band “The Great Divide.” Now he tours with the Mike McClure Band, and he produces albums for hundreds of bands at BooHatch like the iconic Turnpike Troubadours. McClure said the name came from a woman he used to worth that once told him to “stick it up your boohatch.”
Now, he spends many of his days fueled by the creative energy of others, being a part of a community of artists, something McClure said he’s never really experienced before. He feels constantly inspired.
McClure writes many of his songs about Oklahoma and specifically about his family in Oklahoma. You know those wild family tales that get passed down that are just too good to be true? Like McClure’s great grandpa who was a bootleg moonshiner, and he used to hide while the cops searched his place for moonshine. That’s the substance of McClure’s songs. Hampton said he tells the story of his village, and, because of that, he tells a universal story.
McClure is charismatic. That much is unmistakable. He’s an artist and a storyteller at heart. Hampton remarked his songs are so truthful that his microphone might be a polygraph.
You can see McClure perform with his fellow Season Three featured artists on Aug. 17 at Grand Casino Hotel and Resort. Read about the other featured artists and follow along with a summary of their interviews in the links below.
Want to read about Season Two’s artists? Check out the write-up below, and get caught up with all the past seasons of Play it Loud.