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
Adam Hampton said The Imaginaries are making music that is new and familiar all at the same time. They’re blending genres – folk, rock, americana, blues, pop. And it’s decidedly them. The Imaginaries is husband/wife duo of Shane Henry and Maggie McClure. Maggie plays keys, Shane plays guitar, and they both have incredible voices.
Hampton said Maggie has sang everywhere from bookstores to Madison Square Garden, and Shane has toured with Buddy Guy and played gigs with BB King.
“But the chemistry of them playing together and the tension of their respective influences and voices pushing and pulling, how that sounds and feels is undeniable,” Hampton said. “They bring something out of each other that wasn’t there before.”
The episode starts with an acoustic performance from Shane and Maggie in the comfort of their home, with a fire crackling in the background, surrounded by Western decor. They’re singing to Hampton and to the camera, but mostly they’re singing to each other. After their performance, they join Hampton in a conversation about influence, family, and faith.
“They look like the lyrics to a John Mellencamp tune, that Maggie and Shane. She’s an all-American girl next door. Kind eyes and a sweet voice with a strength beneath the surface not quite hidden. He’s tall, hippie hair, easy-going enough, but he’s a man with ideas that he’s serious about, and he’s a little bit dangerous with a guitar in his hands.”Adam Hampton
Shane said music is what brought the pair together. Maggie was learning piano from a person who Shane played with. She opened for him one night, and the rest is history.
The two of them talked about the support they share from each other, and from the rest of their families, the way they constantly are reminded that this is what they’re meant to do. Maggie said, in everything they do, they’re on the same page.
Read more about their upcoming album release below.
Shane and Maggie talked about the emotionality of music, the way it can transport you to a specific time, a specific place, the way certain songs just stick with you. Shane told a story about a song he wrote to play at a funeral, how that song just stayed in that time for him.
Maggie and Shane wanted their musical collaboration to happen naturally, and it did. The two of them brought unique sounds, unique experiences, to create something undeniably sentimental, something natural. The pair is young. But Hampton spoke of a wisdom beneath their youth, their ability to tell a compelling story.
They’ve got a message, man, and they’re sticking to it,” Hampton said.
The Imaginaries will perform August 17 with the other three featured artists at Grand Casino for a live show of Play it Loud. Read the story about Samantha Crain, another featured Play it Loud artist, below.