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Popular Band Returning for Rolf's Holiday Show

Enjoying the Michael Craig Band days before Christmas is becoming a local tradition for some.

For the last 10 years, Warren musicians Craig Helgeson and Michael Doyle have made a point of packing their December schedule with Michael Craig Band performances, and in recent years, that's included a popular holiday gig at Rolf's Restaurant.

The duo will take to Rolf's stage at 8:30 p.m. Friday for this year's third annual Michael Craig Band Holiday Show, an event that's becoming a bit of a tradition for some of their fans.

"We are excited about this weekend's shows," Rolf's Manager Tim Duncan said. "This Michael Craig's third straight Holiday show and we are expecting a great turn out."

Those "Craig-heads" are coming out to enjoy the band's renditions of holiday classics, something that they started doing about 10 years ago, Helgeson said.

"It basically started as a concept Mike had to give his mother a Christmas gift in 2001 of a recording of us doing Christmas music," he said. "That turned into a show we prepared for Mike's mom was she was in assisted living in Flemington and we played there for a number of years until she passed away on Christmas Day in 2008."

He said since then, they've continued by performing holiday music during December in their gigs across Northern New Jersey.

"We do everything from our usual classic rock to Bing Crosby and David Bowie's 'Little Drummer Boy,' 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman' and other more traditional holiday tunes," Helgeson said. "This year will be a little different because we have our two new members—Ken Bigelow on bass and David Crenshaw on drums—which forms the new group FOG (Four Old Guys!) and this starts another chapter in the holiday mix."

He added because of the change in lineup, this year's Holiday show "will likely be a combination of some new and some old and some holiday!"

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