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As long-time fans will tell you, SimpleGifts featuring Billy McLaughlin 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 having successfully transitioned from their early days in coffeehouses and small listening rooms to prestigious performing art centers and larger churches. “There was no “Frosty the Snowman”, or “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” in the performance of SimpleGifts. Rather, Billy and his incredible group covered the arc of the Christmas narrative in a beautiful and profound way that touched the audience very deeply." Brian Jose, Executive Director College of St. Benedict Fine Arts Series St. Joseph, MN "The angelic vocals and wonderful musical accompaniment are a breathtaking combination. Experiencing this concert makes one pause and reflect on what the season is all about. This is the real music of Christmas.” Richard Kettering, Acoustic Roots Music Series Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, Faribault, MN