Review + Photos: The Imaginaries Make Music That’s Very Real at Hotel Cafe

The Imaginaries at the Hotel Cafe - Photo by Luis Moreno
The Imaginaries at the Hotel Cafe - Photo by Luis Moreno

Review and Photos by LUIS MORENO

The Imaginaries and their music are honest, simple and real. 

The Imaginaries are the husband and wife team of Maggie McClure (keyboard and vocals) and Shane Henry (guitar and vocals). They’re on a journey around the country from one tiny little stage to another celebrating the release of their self-titled debut album, The Imaginaries, which released earlier this year. 

What I loved about them is the sincerity in their music and their desire to do it well. You can definitely hear the Oklahoma influence and the southern sounds in the roots of their revival  swampy style music.  

The Imaginaries at the Hotel Cafe - Photo by Luis Moreno
The Imaginaries at the Hotel Cafe – Photo by Luis Moreno

When the husband and wife team walked out on to the stage, I thought a perfect size stage for those two.  But then four more musicians including the drummer came out.  So, there they were, six on a stage at the Hotel Café that was probably meant for maybe three people. 

The Imaginaries played the entire album on a shuffle setting if it were on your iPod. They started with a ramblin’ song titled “Enough of You.”  Then straight into a real bluesy “Geronimo” with a slide steel guitar sound that let you know this song had Muscle Shoals written all over it. 

The Imaginaries at the Hotel Cafe - Photo by Luis Moreno
The Imaginaries at the Hotel Cafe – Photo by Luis Moreno

The evening closed out with “Revival” a very swampy wet sound like it was straight out of the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou. Then Maggie’s voice came sauntering as a sultry siren lulling you into her mood. The percussion then took command, driving the track into a powerful and expressive rocker track.

The Imaginaries at the Hotel Cafe - Photo by Luis Moreno
The Imaginaries at the Hotel Cafe – Photo by Luis Moreno

The Imaginaries, complete with their cool southern rock sound, good nature and humble presence, play music that deserves to be heard by music lovers everywhere. And though it may take a little time, there’s no doubt they’ll accomplish that goal, one tiny stage at a time.