It’s a special time of year

Published 5:18 pm Saturday, December 8, 2012

Two heart-warming events are happening this week at the Historic Paramount Theatre.

Thursday, brings SimpleGifts featuring Billy McLaughlin at 7:30 p.m. In its 10th holiday season, SimpleGifts is a celebration of traditional, rarely experienced Christmas hymns and carols.

Bringing together violin, Celtic whistle and bagpipes, piano, acoustic guitar and percussion with angelic three part female vocals creates what is described as a “modern Old-World” sound. This combination of voices and musical accompaniment is breathtaking, moving audiences to realize the true meaning of Christmas.

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Billy McLaughlin, a featured artist in the group, is recognized internationally as a composer and virtuoso performer. A five-time Minnesota Music Award winner with Billboard Top-Ten Chart experience, he recently made a remarkable comeback from a devastating neuro-muscular disorder called focal dystonia.

He will also be appearing Feb. 24 at the Paramount with the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

Music from the past continues at the Paramount on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with The Elvis Tribute Show as presented by Joe Sir and his Rockabilly Rebel Band.

This fun-filled event celebrates the different periods of Elvis’s career: The 50’s, the movies, his ‘68 come-back special, his gospel music and the record breaking years in Las Vegas.

Complete with costume changes, audiences will hear all of Elvis’s hits including some of his Christmas favorites. Based in Wisconsin, Joe has been performing the Elvis Show for 20 years. His band does an amazing job of capturing the sound and harmonies of the different periods of Elvis’s musical career.

In fact, according to local music producer Denny Charnecki, Joe Sir is one of the best Elvis tribute artists in the area. Tickets for both events can be purchased online at or by calling 507-434-0934.