The group, whose core is composed of husband and wife duo Maggie McClure (piano, keyboard, vocals) and Shane Henry (guitar, vocals), has driven thousands of miles around the country promoting their debut self-titled album, The Imaginaries, and Nashville was their last stop on their extensive tour. Fans adorned with cowboy hats and boots packed into the small, dark, intimate brick building for the experience.
The duo, backed by Jordan Oliver (drums), Ryan Miller (bass), Jim Robinson (B3 organ), and Corey Congilio (electric guitar), walked onto The Basement’s tiny stage and opened the show with “Enough of You.” Henry’s sharp electric guitar cut through the mix like a hot knife cutting butter, and Oliver’s precise drums gave the song an irresistible, driving pulse that got the party started.
A minute into their performance, it was clear that the band had been paying their dues on the road, displaying a tightness that only comes from years of experience and tireless touring. I was blown away by how McClure and Henry’s powerful vocals were locked in so tight, effortlessly complimenting and harmonizing with each other. Meanwhile, Miller’s thumping bass and McClure and Congilio’s rich, overdriven guitars hit me right in the chest.
After a few songs, the couple’s backing band stepped off the stage, leaving McClure and Henry to perform stripped down-renditions of their songs “Blue Sky” and “Trust Falling With You,” which both appear on the group’s new album. McClure sat behind her keyboard on center stage with Henry standing next to her, guitar strapped around his shoulder. McClure let loose, letting her soulful vocals soar, revealing both the vulnerability in her songwriting as well as her artistic confidence. Despite the lack of backing instruments, the pair sounded like a full band.
Before inviting the band back on stage, the couple played “You Remind Me,” the last track on their debut record. Interestingly, the song was featured in A Cowgirl’s Song, a country music centered film that McClure and Henry co-produced, co-starred in, scored, as well as co-wrote the soundtrack.
Shortly after, they played “Walking on a Wire,” the second single from the album, which was followed by “There Will Come a Day,” a triumphant, heart-felt track that also happens to be the first song the couple wrote as a group. They then played their latest single, “You Already Know,” a dreamy, ethereal, and somewhat psychedelic track that makes you feel like you’re curled up next to a fireplace. They wrote this tender love song for each other and performed it for the first time on their wedding day almost ten years ago. It was also featured in Redemption In Cherry Springs, a Hallmark movie which premiered back in early September.
The group closed the show with a high-octane rendition of “Revival,” the first track off their record. The song features dueling slide guitars, smokey, distorted riffs, and funky drums and bass, and the tune’s big, bluesy chorus had everyone in the small venue moving and bobbing. At the end of the song, Henry, Congilio, and Robinson traded off solos, making for a truly epic ending to a fantastic show.
Based on this performance alone, it’s clear that The Imaginaries have a bright and fruitful future ahead of them. They’re everything you could want from an Americana group: they’re tight, talented, rootsy yet modern, and humble. Moreover, they put on a great show that’ll keep you engaged and have you humming their hooks for weeks.