Songs of Thanks

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

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.


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.

Featured Songs

  1. Jet Harris, Besame Mucho, Besame Mucho (single), Decca, 1962
  2. Sam & Dave, I Thank You, I Thank You, Atlantic, 1968
  3. Led Zeppelin, Thank You, Led Zeppelin II, Atlantic, 1969
  4. 2Pac, Dear Mama, Me Against the World, Interscope, 1995
  5. Natalie Merchant, Kind & Generous, Ophelia, Elektra, 1998
  6. Cindy Fee, Thank You for Being a Friend, The Golden Girls, NBC, 1985
  7. Descendents, Thank You, Everything Sucks, Epitaph, 1996
  8. ABBA, Thank You for the Music, ABBA: The Album, Polar, 1977
  9. Sinéad O'Connor, Thank You for Hearing Me, Universal Mother, Ensign, 1994
  10. Sly & the Family Stone, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin), Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (single), Epic, 1969
  11. Big Star, Thank You Friends, Third, PVC, 1978
  12. Ernest Tubb, Thanks a Lot, Thanks a Lot (single), Decca, 1963
  13. Elvis Presley, (You're the Devil) in Disguise, (You're the Devil) in Disguise (single), RCA, 1963
  14. Cocteau Twins, Quisquose, Aikea-Guinea, 4AD, 1985
  15. Duane Eddy, Tiger Love and Turnip Greens, The“Twangs”the "Thang", Jamie, 1959
  16. Masaru Imada, Tropical Butterfly, Blue Marine, Trio, 1982
  17. The Shadows, Stingray, Stingray (single), Columbia, 1965
  18. Duane Eddy, Blueberry Hill, The“Twangs”the "Thang", Jamie, 1959
  19. Milton Brown & His Brownies, Brownie's Stomp, Brownie's Stomp (single), Bluebird, 1934
  20. Patsy Cline, Back in Baby's Arms, Sweet Dreams (Of You) (single), Decca, 1963
  21. Roy Orbison, Workin' for the Man, Workin' for the Man (single), Monument, 1962
  22. Marty Robbins, Don't Worry, Don't Worry (single), Columbia, 1961
  23. Jack Nitzsche, The Lonely Surfer, The Lonely Surfer, Reprise, 1963
  24. The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations, Good Vibrations (single), Capitol, 1966
  25. Glen Campbell, Wichita Lineman, Wichita Lineman, Capitol, 1968
  26. Wes Montgomery, Sandu, Movin' Along, Riverside, 1960
  27. New Order, Blue Monday, Blue Monday (single), Factory, 1983
  28. The Cure, Pictures of You, Disintegration, Fiction, 1989
  29. Angelo Badalamenti, Twin Peaks Theme, Soundtrack from Twin Peaks, Warner Bros., 1990
  30. Tortoise, I Set My Face to the Hillside, TNT, Thrill Jockey, 1998
  31. Brokeback, From the Black Current (Live on Sound Opinions), Looks at the Bird, Thrill Jockey, 2002
  32. Jet Harris, Main Title Theme (From The Man with the Golden Arm), Main Title Theme (From The Man with the Golden Arm) (single), Decca, 1962
  33. Rise Against, The Violence, Wolves, Virgin, 2017
  34. Fugazi, Waiting Room, Fugazi, Dischord, 1988
  35. AC/DC, For Those About to Rock (We Salute You), For Those About to Rock We Salute You, Atlantic, 1981
  36. Al Green, Call Me (Come Back Home), Call Me, Hi, 1973
  37. Al Green, Love and Happiness, I'm Still In Love With You, Hi, 1972
  38. Al Green featuring John Legend, Stay With Me (By the Sea), Lay It Down, Blue Note, 2008
  39. Taylor Swift, Delicate, reputation, Big Machine, 2017