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What people are saying:
"My first and definitely not my last visit to the Marine on St Croix Town Hall to spend time with SimpleGifts... what a fantastic night of wonderful music, angelic voices, extraordinary talent and humor... and the ambiance of that old 1875 hall....what an experience... thank you! "
"As 'newbies' we thoroughly enjoyed your performance last night in Zumbrota. We are looking to make this an annual tradition"
"Thank you for making the pilgrimage to perform in Albert Lea this morning! As always, a most enjoyable set... again, Thank You!"
"This was one of the BEST concerts I've seen. Great Christmas music. I highly recommend it for all."
"I have seem simple gifts perform nearly every Christmas for several years now and they never cease to amaze with their amazing talent and sheer musical inspiration."
Celebrate the Holidays with SimpleGifts
With little or no media attention, SimpleGifts has become arguably the most successful holiday project celebrating modern arrangements of traditional hymns and carols in MN. Fueled by passionate grassroots fans since 2001, the 2014 Holiday Tour includes 20 appearances between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve including a four-night return to the historic Marine-on-St. Croix Town Hall that have been sell-outs for the past 6 years. Most exciting is the opportunity to be the first-ever Christmas concert at the Historic Parkway Theater in Billy's childhood neighborhood of south Minneapolis. Music from all five of the groups critically acclaimed CD releases will be featured including the most recent, Wintergrace, characterized by local music critic Jim Walsh:
"…one of the most elegant and listenable Christmas collections of this or any year — "WinterGrace" from the Billy McLaughlin-led local collective SimpleGifts"
With exceptional set and lighting design and an impeccable sound-system, SimpleGifts puts community celebration ahead of commercialization by pulling the audience into the sublime side of traditional repertoire in a truly meaningful Christmas event. Expect modern arrangements with an Old-world feel highlighting Billy's signature acoustic guitar, angelic three-part harmony vocals, bagpipes, celtic whistles, violin, piano and tasty atmospheric percussion.
Live video of original composition "Oh Mary"
As long-time fans will tell you, SimpleGifts makes musical magic by bringing a modern flair to traditional Christmas carols and hymns. Staying close to the heart of Christmas by avoiding commercial and pop holiday repertoire has become the trademark of this award winning six-piece ensemble.
SimpleGifts combines violin, Celtic whistle and bagpipes, piano, acoustic guitar and percussion with angelic three part female vocals to create a "modern Old-World" sound. There is nothing ordinary about the arrangements this team delivers both in the studio and in concert. Seen by over 20,000 live audience members last season, this group continues to grow in popularity throughout the Upper Midwest and has successfully transitioned from their early days in coffeehouses and small listening rooms to prestigious performing art centers and larger churches.