2022 Christmastide Homecoming Tour Announced!

Christmas with SimpleGifts

Nothing compares to the way Christmas brings family and friends back together. SimpleGifts leans into this truth by naming their annual metro holiday 2022 tour, “Christmastide Homecoming”. The group calls out for all to gather and feel at home again celebrating music of the season. For over two decades, SimpleGifts’ inspired arrangements have been shining light on families of devoted fans during the shortest days of the year. Everyone is welcome to sing along or simply take in the exceptional musicianship, audio system, lighting and set-design. A MN treasure not to be missed this holiday season.

A timely homecoming is happening on stage as well this year with the return of founding member, vocalist, Carin Vagle. SimpleGifts deeply appreciates our loyal followers understanding how growing families have created changes in band members over the years. Our 2022 tour will truly be a “Christmastide Homecoming“!


For all you folks who can’t make it to Minnesota for our live shows this year… Celebrate the Holidays with SimpleGifts online here.

Billy McLaughlin Harvest at the Parkway Oct 16th

Harvest at the Parkway Preview on KBEM

Billy McLaughlin Harvest at the Parkway Oct 16th

Simple Gifts featuring Billy McLaughlin presents Harvest at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis, Sunday October 16 at 7PM. The show re-imagines songs of Neil Young, sung by Carin Vagle, Karen Paurus and Amy Courts, with a Celtic twist added by Laura MacKenzie, all under Bill McLaughlin’s direction. Phil Nusbaum sat down with members of the production, and when he did, Billy first addressed how this special show came into existence.

Listen to the eight-minute preview here!

Tickets for the show available here

Billy McLaughlin Brain and Life Podcast

Brain and Life Podcast

Billy McLaughlin Brain and Life Podcast

In this episode, Dr. Audrey Nath talks with musician Billy McLaughlin about his focal dystonia diagnosis and its effect on his ability to play the guitar. McLaughlin shares his journey to diagnosis and the technique he developed that still allows him to play music. Then Dr. Nath is joined by Dr. Alexander Pantelyat, co-founder and co-director at Johns Hopkins Center for Music & Medicine. Dr. Pantelyat  shares his knowledge of movement disorders and highlights the ways that the condition specifically affects musicians.
Listen to the podcast here!

Billy Guests on Fingerstyle Guitar Hangout with Adam Rafferty

Billy recently had the privilege of being a guest on Fingerstyle Guitar Hangout with Adam Rafferty!

If you’d like to have a listen, here are all the ways you can do that:

Podcast on Adam’s Website

Fingerstyle Guitar Hangout.com

Podcast on Apple Music

Podcast on Spotify

Thanks so much Adam for having me on the podcast!


One-on-one with Billy McLaughlin

A Virtual Experience!

One-On-One with Billy McLaughlin is now offering virtual (Zoom) guitar / music / composing / random-topic / life coaching sessions.

Sessions on sale now!

  • One 50-minute Zoom-session for $100/each
  • Four or more Zoom-sessions for $75/each

25% off four or more sessions!

Simplegifts “Christmas From Marine” Pay-per-view Concert Launches Early – Available Now!

We just couldn’t wait until December 23rd to share this terrific performance featuring joyful SimpleGifts favorites captured with multi-cameras in high-def. Thanks to Steve Keller at ProMediaProductions for getting this virtual concert recording ready to share early! We plan on performing live next season but want to share our very best moments to celebrate this year with you at home.

New Billy McLaughlin singles now on Spotify, Amazon & Apple Music

Dirt Floor CoverWhen the Rain Comes Down tells a true-life love story with all the joy, second-guessing and a sad ending delivered by cell phone. Love you always “Pink”!

When the Rain Comes Down is available to add to your collection on any of the places you enjoy listening to music here.

Dirt Floor Cover

Dirt Floor is my cover of the title track from Chris Whitley’s fourth album (1998). On his recording he used just one ribbon microphone and an analog two track in his father’s barn. That whole album is both magical and mystical to me – deftly played National guitar and his silky and powerful voice. The song captures my own feelings about death and finding comfort in the simplicity and naturalness of something I don’t look forward to very much. Loving his artistry so much, I was shocked and saddened when he passed in November of 2005 not long after I got hip to him. His lyrics take on even more meaning to me ever since.

Dirt Floor is available to add to your collection on any of the places you enjoy listening to music here.




Dream with out Fear - Billy McLaughlin

This song speaks among many things to my love-affair with music and the curative powers it still holds for me. The second verse might be about one of the many love-at-first-sight experiences I’ve both enjoyed and struggled with my whole life – but it’s also about music and my tendency to leave words out entirely. I wrote the words during my battle with dystonia that had me wondering if I’d ever get to play again – if someday my music would all come back. The chorus is pretty much all you need to know about who I am and what I believe as captured in a time of epic uncertainty I know we can all relate to. Acoustic “tapping-style” guitar rarely forms the core of an expanded ensemble/vocal piece but the arrangement emerged as a complete accompaniment as I began to play left-handed again.

Dream Without Fear is available to add to your collection on any of the places you enjoy listening to music here.



Come Talk To Me - by Billy McLaughlin on Spotify, Amazon, Apple MusicMy new single is “Come Talk To Me”, a cover by Peter Gabriel who is a musical hero of mine. His body of work is vast, layered, complex, intricately arranged and bound together by his emotive vocals. Wouldn’t seem likely that I could ever use one guitar and be able to effectively arrange any of my favorite songs by him to perform at my live shows – especially with just two fingers working on my fretboard hand. But that was my challenge as I dreamed of singing “Come Talk To Me”, the opening track from his album, Us (1992), featuring Sinead O’Connor. Experimenting with unusual tunings got me to a place that everything essential was intact and I sang this tune at my solo gigs with just one guitar for years. It was super fulfilling to create this recording that is essentially built around that solo guitar version. Newly arranged vocal parts with a unique set of ancient bagpipes played by Laura MacKenzie gives this version a special feel that I hope PG might hear some day.

Come Talk To Me available to add to your collection on any of the places you enjoy listening to music here!


Gospel Plow - by Billy McLaughlin on Spotify, Amazon, Apple MusicAnd one more reason to come to the shows, we’re playing brand new songs from a series of new singles that I’m releasing. If you loved my The Archery of the Guitar or Exhale Blue albums, you’re going to love these news songs! Follow me at Spotify and Apple Music for new release dates. The first single is my take on the classic “Gospel Plow”, coming February 12th, two days ahead of our first COTLS show. This song tells me all I need to know about survival and its message helped me through years of tough times. And while you’re waiting to hear my version, check out Mahalia Jackson’s version – and Chance McCoy’s too. Bob Dylan’s version is quite something as well. Arranging this traditional piece was a blast with a special thank you to Heather Moen from SimpleGifts who got the vocal “call-and-response” vibe jumping!

Gospel Plow available to add to your collection on any of the places you enjoy listening to music here!


Billy McLaughlin and the The Church of the Lost Souls

Missed a Church of the Lost Souls show?

Re-watch COTLS shows here!

Feb 14th with Michael Monroe
Feb 21st with Jennifer and Joe
Feb 28th with Kathleen Johnson
March 7th with Nicholas David
March 14th Laura MacKenzie
March 21st with Jeff Arundel
March 28th with Chris Koza
April 4th with Willie Wisely
April 11th with SOFIA
April 18th with Turn Turn Turn
April 25th with Annie Mack
May 2nd with Peter Mayer


The Parkway Theater presents Billy McLaughlin and The Church of the Lost Souls

The inspiration for The Church of the Lost Souls came from the audience when SimpleGifts performed The Young and the Rest at the Parkway a few years ago. After, numerous encores on a Saturday night, Billy explained “this HAS to be the last song. I have to be at church early in the morning! …or maybe we should leave all our equipment here and all come back and play for you tomorrow! We could call it The Church of the Lost Souls or something and just play whatever music makes us happy!” The audience response was thunderous and requests for this type of show have gone unabated ever since.

Filled with songs of both joy and introspection, this listening room/living room styled show will feature all kinds of new music each week with special guest acoustic artists. When allowed by MN Covid guidelines change, reserved ticket in-person socially distanced seating will allow for a live audience in addition to our livestream. More info will be available soon at billymclaughlin.com and at: theparkwaytheater.com



See how the series went on the Church of the Lost Souls Roundup!

Sheet Music Transcripts

Two New Transcriptions Now Available

With many thanks to the talented John Stropes, Clockshop and Back from the Brink are now available at www.stropes.com

Stropes.com has 12 transcriptions for Billy’s songs, along with 2 backing tracks.  Click here for the complete list.