When Malaco Records started out in the late 1960s, the label that small Southern R&B companies looked up to was Stax. The Jackson, MS-based Malaco, like the Memphis-based Stax, focused mainly on deep-fried Southern soul in the beginning – only in 1968 and 1969, Malaco was a struggling young operation that was fighting to stay afloat. But ironically, Malaco would still be in business long after Stax's 1975 demise, and it would continue to favor classic soul long after most labels had moved away from it. When other black-oriented independents were putting out urban contemporary, rap and house music in the 1980s and 1990s.
It was much to soul singer Spanky Wilson's surprise – she didn't realize she had had such an impact – when British multi-instrumentalist/producer Will Holland contacted her in her Los Angeles home in 2004, professing his love of her music and wondering if she'd collaborate with him. Still, she agreed to go the studio, and together they did two songs, "Don't Joke with a Hungry Man" and "When You're Through," for Holland's solo project, Quantic, on the album Mishaps Happening. That collaboration worked out so well that they decided to make an entire record together, this time with Holland's full band, the Quantic Soul Orchestra. Wilson's lovely voice is the centerpiece of I'm Thankful, and it does show a bit of its age, but only in the best of ways, deepening it and giving it an added measure of credibility and authenticity while still preserving its expressiveness and strength. Attesting to Wilson's tremendous ability is the fact that the record is very intimately and sparsely produced, making it seem as if the singer is almost in the room right with the you, the sometimes raspy and breathy line endings audible in that professional, practiced way.