Legendary musician Bud Davidge offers up a new collection of holiday tracks with heart in A Christmas Gift of Freedom
Christmas is a time for reflection, a time for food, family, and of course, music and friends. Few know that as well as Bud Davidge.
The Mummers Song
The legendary Newfoundland artist has been singing on how good it is to bring folks together for decades. One half of the trailblazing Simani, who 34 years ago this year released the staple holiday album Christmas Fancy (yes, the one with the Mummers Song), Davidge has been there, done that and got the t-shirt when it comes to Newfoundland and our music culture. He was there when a good chunk of it was founded, after all.
With Christmas 2018 just weeks away, Davidge is set to release his latest solo effort, A Christmas Gift of Freedom.
The holiday album, largely inspired by and dedicated to our armed forces, has been a work in progress for years, a compilation of trad favourites, archived material and what will surely be new classics.
“It was trying to consummate something that I started some time back,” Davidge said in a sitdown with The Herald. “This is my fifth or sixth solo album since Simani, which was in 1997. From then on I wrote a bit and did some solo stuff more for fun and keeping from getting rusty.”
Two of the tracks were recorded in the Belleoram studio of Simani partner Sim Savory in 2008, two years before his untimely passing in 2010. Several of the tracks have been recorded, mixed and in-waiting for nearly a decade.
“It’s that kind of archival kind of project for me instead of the kind where we were playing all over the place,” he says. “Finish what you started. I won’t say it’s the last record I’ll do – please God if I live long enough I’ll do something else.”
The album was produced and arranged by Dave Fitzpatrick, best known as a longtime member of The Fables, while the likes of Billy Sutton, Greg Walsh, Paul Hamilton and the Holy Redeemer School Children’s Choir of Spaniard’s Bay contributed.
And while there are a host of familiar Christmas favourites you’d be likely to hear during the season, A Christmas Gift of Freedom is largely a tip of the hat to the brave servicemen and women, and their families, for the unenviable sacrifice they make each and every year.
“Sometimes when you’re writing you’ll always have your ear cocked for something or other. Something might take my attention and if it does to the proper way it’s going to motivate me to do something about it,” Davidge said.
Songs like The Freedom Gift play to that idea of sacrifice and perseverance.
“These are the people that served for us, who fought for freedom. But then there are the people who are at home, the mothers and fathers and families, waiting for them to come back and worrying that they might not come back.”
Bud Davidge’s A Christmas Gift of Freedom is available at your local music retailer this holiday season.