AFTER working with Embrace and the Kasier Chiefs, producer Dave Creffield is in a good position to judge local talent so when he says a band is good it's worth listening.
He is throwing his weight behind Waking the Witch and has taken the controls to produce their Boys from the Abattoir album which is out on February 5.
Recorded at HD1 studios in Huddersfield, the CD feature brings a grittier Waking the Witch than has been heard before - still featuring the four girls' trademark voices and acoustic guitars, but this time backed up throughout by a powerful rhythm section and, on gothic indie folk anthem Me Leaving Me, the distinctive, stirring guitar playing of Big Country's Bruce Watson.
The album also features more guest spots from Fluff (Incredible String Band) on strings; Mick Bedford, (Tasmin Archer) on drums; John Short (Deep Sky Divers), bass; James Goodwin (Flook), percussion; Jon Burr (The Bluebirds), harmonica; and Dave Bowie (Burden of Paradise), double bass.
A number of the guests are appearing with Waking The Witch at a special hometown gig in Leeds at the City Varieties on Thursday, January 25.
A DVD will be made of the show and every member of the audience will be personally mentioned in writing on the DVD itself. Tickets for the gig are 12 and on sale now online at www.cityvarieties.co.ukfrom or from the box office on 08456 441 881.
Waking The Witch got to work with their new producer after he heard about their performance at the Leeds Independent Music Awards in 2006, when members of the Kaisers and Embrace were in the audience.
Immediately Creffield's interest was aroused, as the band was hailed as being tied in with the explosion of interest in the Leeds music scene:
He said: "They are amazing singers, guitar players and arrangers and this CD features some of the strongest songs that I have heard in a long, long time."
Waking The Witch - Rachel Goodwin, Patsy Matheson, Becky Mills and Jools Parker -exploded on to the UK live circuit in 2004 with audiences and reviewers raving about this rootsy, bluesy, folksy, jazzy, rocky outfit which defied instant pigeon-holing.
Now, with the release of the new album, and the fusion of Creffield's indie influences and their acoustic roots, they have introduced a new genre of roots music - "indie acoustic."