Simani (pronounced "Sim 'n' I") is a St. John's musical duet considered the cornerstone of traditional Newfoundland music. Formed in 1977 by Bud Davidge and Sim Savory (November 29, 1946 - March 16, 2010), their music keeps Newfoundland's unique heritage alive by putting old stories to song and by their recording of local jigs and reels. Their music is characterized by the folksy sound of their native province, including Celtic, English, and French influences.
It is believed that the name "Simani" is derived from someone asking Bud who was playing that night at the local Lions Club. Bud replied, "Sim and I". By the time the music began that night, the name was already set.
1 Brief history,
5 External links,
Bud Davidge and Sim Savory both knew each other growing up - Sim was in Belleoram and Bud was in Bay du Nord. Sim was a natural and gifted musician and was always playing in bands. In 1970, after living and working in St.John's for sometime, Sim moved back to Belleoram. Bud was working with the school board at that time. A few years after that, which was a time when Sim wasn't in a band, they got together and decided to play a few tunes. One thing led to another and in May 1977 they decided to play a gig in Belleoram at the an old fisherman's lodge called The Schooner Lounge, earning them about $20. People and critics enjoyed the bands so much that they decided to play more gigs. 1981, four years after that initial performance in Belleoram Bud and Sim had written enough material that it was suggested that the duo record an album, which they eventually did in Stephenville.
Nearly all of Simani's recorded songs are originals, written by Bud Davidge who was also the vocalist for the group. Sim Savory was a gifted musician, being a master of many instruments, as well as a very talented sound engineer. That variety of talent worked very well for SIMANI and it showed in the quality of their recordings.
In a musical career that lasted from 1977 to 1997, Simani were stars with major radio airplay and sold out shows wherever they performed. Since their first recording "Saltwater Cowboys" in 1981, they have produced 12 recordings. Simani defined a sound that became predominant in many recording that were done in Newfoundland and Labrador in the 1980s. Their first few albums were recorded at Clode Sound in Stephenville and the remainder recorded at Sim's studio in Belleoram.
Simani is famous for their "Saltwater Cowboys" song, a song about Outward migration, a subject most people from Newfoundland are all too familiar with, and the effects that an outside culture has on Newfoundlanders who leave and then return home.
Simani is also well known for their Christmas mega-hit "The Mummer's Song". Before Bud and Sim produced this song, the Christmas tradition of Mummering was declining. After its release in 1984, Mummering made a return to all parts of Newfoundland.
Simani gave up touring in 1997 but still worked toward the advancement of traditional Newfoundland music with Bud and Sim releasing individual recording projects.
Prior to his death, Sim Savory would help aspiring artists with their recording experience at his state of the art recording facility at Belleoram.
Bud Davidge is the owner and operator of a cassette tape and CD-ROM duplication facility at English Harbour West, just eight kilometers from Belleoram.
2002 - the band was awarded the Stompin' Tom Award at the East Coast Music Awards.,
2008 - the band won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the MusicNL award show in Gander, NL.