Minnesota’s Modern Old-World Sound

SimpleGifts combines violin, Celtic flutes and bagpipes, piano, acoustic guitar and percussion with angelic three part female vocals to create a “modern Old-World” sound.

Minnesota’s Modern Old-World Sound

SimpleGifts combines violin, Celtic flutes and bagpipes, piano, acoustic guitar and percussion with angelic three part female vocals to create a “modern Old-World” sound.

2020 Christmas From Marine-On-St-Croix: all four Sundays after Thanksgiving plus Wednesday 12/23

SimpleGifts proudly announces a new take on our annual holiday tour for this year. 2020 Christmas From Marine-On-St-Croix features both a limited number of “in-person, socially-distanced, intimate-performance” tickets AND convenient live-stream options for our fans who prefer an in-home holiday experience across the globe.

All details for this year’s upcoming tour here!

2020 The Young & The Rest… Schedule!

“The Young and the Rest…” is all about women bringing new life to music made famous by men. Clearly a tribute, this show is better described as a girl-powered reboot of acoustic hits and deep tracks by Neil Young, CSN, America, The Eagles and more by the siren-voices of SimpleGifts (Heather Moen/Karen Paurus/Amy Courts) with a Celtic twist provided by Laura MacKenzie (whistles/flutes/bagpipe). Acoustic guitar by Billy McLaughlin with top-shelf bass and drums. Not to be missed among your tribute show choices!  (See video below)

September 26 – Crooners, Minneapolis, MN (Outdoor show)
October 3 – Harvest in Marine, Marine-on-St-Croix City Hall, MN (matinée)
October 3 – Harvest in Marine, Marine-on-St-Croix City Hall, MN (evening) SOLD OUT

February 6, 2021 – Westonka Performing Arts Center, Westonka, MN

2020 Holiday Tour Schedule coming soon!

The Young & The Rest Show Gaining Fans Fast in 2020

If you missed our exciting launch of SimpleGifts new project in 2019, it’s important to know that you don’t have to wait 11 months between holiday tours to see us!!!  We are thrilled momentum continues to sky-rocket for our year-round show, SimpleGifts with Billy McLaughlin presents The Young & the Rest…  An acoustic tribute to Neil Young and the rest of your favorite artists who defined an era and whose popularity endures – Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Eagles, Joni Mitchell, America and more.

For show and ticketing information please click here.

About SimpleGifts

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 flutes 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.

In 2018 the group started to expand their shows to year-round with a new project entitled The Young & The Rest…  An acoustic tribute to Neil Young and the rest of your favorite artists who defined an era and whose popularity endures – Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Eagles, Joni Mitchell, America and more.

SimpleGifts on Stage © Melissa Busse

With little media attention, SimpleGifts is arguably the most successful MN holiday-themed project celebrating exclusively traditional hymns and carols interpreted in modern arrangements. Fueled by grassroots fans since 2001, the 18th Annual SimpleGifts 2019 Holiday “Christmastide” Tour includes close to 20 concerts between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve in the Twin Cities metro or close proximity. Music from the group’s most recent CD  “This Christmastide” and previous five critically acclaimed releases will be featured. The ensemble’s previous CD, Wintergrace, is 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” – MinnPost

With exceptional set and lighting design and an impeccable sound-system, SimpleGifts puts community celebration ahead of commercialization – 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 flutes, violin, piano and tasty atmospheric percussion.

Click here to read Musician Profiles


  • Heart of Gold by SimpleGifts
  • Tell Me Why by SimpleGifts
  • Ventura Highway by SimpleGifts
  • Comes A Time by SimpleGifts
  • Helplessly Hoping by SimpleGifts
  • O Come All Ye Faithful by SimpleGifts
  • Hark the Herald by SimpleGifts
  • Angels We Have Heard by SimpleGifts
  • Carol of the Bells by SimpleGifts
  • Mary Did You Know by SimpleGifts
  • World is Old/Shepherds by SimpleGifts