Recorded during the T Bone Burnett–produced sessions for Rhiannon Giddens's highly acclaimed solo debut, Tomorrow Is My Turn, the five-song EP Factory Girl includes songs written or made famous by musical heroes Ethel Waters and Sister Rosetta Tharp; a song co-written by Giddens; a traditional Gaelic mouth music tune; and the title track, a traditional Irish song for which Giddens wrote additional lyrics. "It's a clutch of tunes that work together like the cards in a winning poker hand," says the New York Times. "Her accompaniment … points to an ageless gold standard for American roots music." "Deftly curated, gorgeously sung," says NPR, "this EP is America."
On the heels of her highly acclaimed solo debut Tomorrow Is My Turn, Rhiannon Giddens's five-song vinyl EP Factory Girl was first released on Nonesuch Records on November 27, 2015, to coincide with the Black Friday Record Store Day event, and became widely available, including digitally, December 11. It was released on CD for the first time on February 10, 2017. The EP is culled from the same T Bone Burnett–produced sessions that yielded Tomorrow Is My Turn. "It's a clutch of tunes that work together like the cards in a winning poker hand," the New York Times says of Factory Girl. "Her accompaniment … points to an ageless gold standard for American roots music." "Deftly curated, gorgeously sung," says NPR, "this EP is America."
As with Tomorrow Is My Turn, Giddens again records traditional songs music and rethinking ones written or made famous by her musical heroes Ethel Waters and Sister Rosetta Tharp. Giddens co-wrote, with her sister Lalenja Harrington and Burnett, "Moonshiner's Daughter," which draws inspiration from family lore about her great-grandfather, a notorious rum-runner. A traditional Gaelic mouth music tune also is featured, along with the title track, a traditional Irish song for which Giddens, deeply troubled by the 2013 factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed 1,100 workers, wrote additional lyrics.
The sessions for the album and EP took place in Los Angeles and Nashville, with a multi-generational group of players assembled by Burnett. Musicians on Factory Girl include Burnett; fiddle player Gabe Witcher and double bassist Paul Kowert of label-mates Punch Brothers; percussionist Jack Ashford of Motown's renowned Funk Brothers; drummer Jay Bellerose; guitarist Colin Linden; veteran Nashville session bassist Dennis Crouch; and Giddens' Carolina Chocolate Drops touring band-mates, multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins and beat-boxer Adam Matta.
Produced by T Bone Burnett
Recorded by Vanessa Parr
"Moonshiner’s Daughter" recorded by Mike Piersante
Additional Recording by Jason Wormer and Chris Wilkinson
Mixed by Jason Wormer
Second Engineers: Jeff Gartenbaum, Chris Wilkinson, Chandler Harrod
Recorded at The Village, Los Angeles, CA; House Of Blues, Nashville, TN; Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA
Mixed at Olympic Studios, Los Angeles, CA and The Village, Los Angeles, CA
Mastered by Gavin Lurssen at Lurssen Mastering, Hollywood, CA
Equipment Tech: Zachary Dawes
Production Coordinator / Contractor: Ivy Skoff
Design by Doyle Partners
Photography by John Peets
Rhiannon Giddens, vocals
Jay Bellerose, drums
Dennis Crouch, acoustic bass
Colin Linden, guitar (1, 3, 4, 5)
Gabriel Witcher, fiddle
Jack Ashford, tambourine (1)
Hubby Jenkins, acoustic guitar (1), banjo (5)
Adam Matta, beatbox (2)
Paul Kowert, acoustic bass (2, 4, 5)
Jack Ashford, tambourine (2, 4, 5)
T Bone Burnett, guitars (3)