Songs of Thanks, the Bass VI & Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath

Songs of Thanks

Thanksgiving is a time to gather around the dinner table with family and friends to reflect on the past year and give thanks. This week, Jim and Greg share some of their favorite songs that say thank you. Plus, the story of the twangy guitar-bass hybrid instrument known as the Bass VI, and Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath shares the song that got him Hooked on Sonics.

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Songs of Thanks

'Tis the season to hold family and friends close and be thankful for what we have. Jim and Greg share some of their favorite song of thanks, tracks that highlight gratefulness and appreciation.

Greg

  • Sam & Dave, I Thank You
  • Tupac Shakur, Dear Mama
  • Descendents, Thank You
  • Sinéad O’Connor, Thank You For Hearing Me

Jim

  • Led Zeppelin, Thank You
  • Natalie Merchant, Kind & Generous
  • ABBA, Thank You for the Music
  • Sly & The Family Stone, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

Instrumental: Bass VI

Bass VI

In the latest installment of our Instrumental segment, producer Evan Chung takes a look at the history of a lesser-known instrument that doesn’t have a proper name – the Bass VI. Once again, we get some help from Daniel Escauriza and Shelby Pollard of Chicago Music Exchange to demonstrate. The Bass VI is a hybrid six-string instrument that looks and feels like a guitar, but is tuned in the range of a bass. Sonically, the Bass VI features a sharp attack and a distinctive twangy sound.

Fender released the most popular model, but the Danelectro company put out the first version of the instrument in the 1950s. It then became a staple of country, rockabilly, and early rock ‘n’ roll. In a style known as tic-tac bass, Nashville producers would use an upright bass _and_ a Bass VI simultaneously on recordings by Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubb, Roy Orbison, and more. In the 1960s, it was a favorite tool of the Wrecking Crew sessions musicians in LA, who used it on classic recordings with The Beach Boys and Glen Campbell.

Beginning in the 1980s, artists began to find new spookier uses for the Bass VI. New Order, The Cure, and The Cocteau Twins all incorporated it into their sound. Doug McCombs has been the most prominent Bass VI player of the last few decades, featuring it in his work with Tortoise, Eleventh Dream Day, and Brokeback. McCombs stopped by our studios to discuss his love of the instrument and to perform Brokeback’s From the Black Current live.

Hooked On Sonics: Rise Against

Rise Against

It sounded like punk...liberated from the idea of what punk should or shouldn’t sound like. And it was...powerful is how Rise Against’s singer and guitarist Tim McIlrath describes Waiting Room by Fugazi, the song that got him Hooked on Sonics. McIlrath talks about how Fugazi shifted the direction of his life, got him making music and what he sees as his role to the next generation of hardcore kids just discovering an underground music scene.

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