With little or no 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 15th Annual SimpleGifts 2016 Holiday Tour includes over a dozen concerts between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve in the Twin Cities metro or close proximity. The run includes two nights at the Historic Parkway Theater in Billy’s childhood neighborhood of South Minneapolis. Music from the group’s new CD for 2016 “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”
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 whistles, violin, piano and tasty atmospheric percussion.