Skyflight Productions

Presenting National Talent of All Genres in Small Town America!

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Skyflight Productions presents Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts on Thursday August 18, 2016 at The Albert S George Youth Center at Barnesville Memorial Park in Barnesville, OH. Rockford, IL-based Miles Nielsen has spent nearly a decade enthralling audiences with music that draws force from the prime years of Western-influenced rock music and classic ‘60s soul. Claiming influences as diverse as Otis Redding’s classic soul and Jellyfish’s cult power pop recordings, Nielsen has thus far released two albums – his debut in 2009 as a solo artist, and then his sophomore album in 2012 as Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts – to critical acclaim and an ever-growing fanbase. The Rusted Hearts’ hot streak will continue this year with their upcoming third LP, Heavy Metal.

Heavy Metal blends the country-esque drawl and growling guitars of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with the subtly sensual undercurrent of Ray Charles. Vocal harmonies present throughout the album recall Fleetwood Mac as strongly as they bring to mind the very first doo wop groups. But despite The Rusted Hearts’ readily apparent influences, the result of these combined roots is a singular sound that readily distinguishes the band from its peers.

Throughout Heavy Metal, The Rusted Hearts combine their sonic forebears into a style that’s entirely theirs, resulting in songs that boast layers upon layers of complexity under their irresistible surfaces. Underneath the gorgeous guitar lines and vocal harmonies outlining this album, brilliantly intertwined riffs and melodies empower The Rusted Hearts with a supremely resonant emotive force. Nielsen employs his songwriting genius to weave in instruments beyond the traditional rock band setup at exactly the right moments, fading these additional flavors in and out of focus exactly when his songs’ emotional development demands this. With this seasoned veteran at their helm, The Rusted Hearts’ seamlessly marry country, soul, pop, and rock, resulting in ten songs that appeal to just about everyone keeping an open ear.

Although Nielsen leads The Rusted Hearts, Heavy Metal isn’t just his journey. The album is credited to a band rather than just Nielsen for a reason: his intent in giving a name to this group was to make sure its members understand how deeply he values their guidance in his spiritual and musical explorations. These friends comprise the same clique that Nielsen has continued to record and tour with for years, a lineup that’s survived the treacherous changes that recent years have brought to his personal life. Since his 2009 debut, The Rusted Hearts have stuck right by his side, and he continues to return to the favor by continuing to expand his musical endeavors into a grander, more layered sound fitting for a full band to work with.

Recent years have seen The Rusted Hearts sharing stages with similar artists including Dr. Dog and Rhett Miller to extensive fanfare and acclaim. The Hearts’ time on the road allowed the band members’ interpersonal chemistry to blossom, driving them to reimagine Nielsen’s past solo songs as vivid, full band anthems. This kind of transformation can be attributed to Nielsen being raised in a household that appreciated the classic rock band setup – yes, this is the same Nielsen blood that runs throughout Cheap Trick lead guitarist and main songwriter Rick Nielsen’s veins – but it’s more strongly a result of his extensive background in classical voice and recording engineering, two vital musical areas he has degrees in. Heavy Metal’s aching, heartfelt vocals and pristine, lucid production attest to Nielsen’s extensive skills in these areas, but more importantly, they remind listeners that they’re listening to a truly talented musician and songwriter.

Doors 7:30PM
$10
brownpapertickets.com

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Skyflight Productions presents The Lawsuits on Sunday August 21, 2016 at The Grange Hall in Barnesville, OH. The Lawsuits, a Phildelphia favorite, have been developing their sound and perfecting their craft for many many years together. With that longevity comes a sort of comfort and understanding for both themselves, and the listener. "Moon Son", the band's second full length release, and Random Records debut, showcases years of blending each other's influences and sounds tocreate something wholly their own.There is no denying the group’s cohesive groove as you listen to their evolving musical journey. With the release of their new album, ‘Moon Sun,’ the band has blended their Americana Soul sound with an Indie Melodic Rock vibe that is only distinguishable as the Lawsuits. The dreamy guitar interludes by lead vocalist and guitarist, Brian Dale Allen Strouse, combined with smooth lulls of Vanessa Winters voice truly represents where they have been and now where they are going. The Lawsuits are certainly moving forward to ever bigger things as seen in their performances with All American Rejects, Stray Birds, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, Sturgill Simpson, and Good Old War.

Doors 7:30 PM
$10
brownpapertickets.com

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Skyflight Productions presents an evening with Claude Bourbon on Tuesday October 25, 2016 at The Albert S George Youth Center at Barnesville Memorial Park in Barnesville, OH. Ready for a unique and talented take on a wide range of musical traditions? Claude Bourbon is known throughout Europe and America for amazing guitar performances that take blues, Spanish, Middle Eastern, and Russian stylings into uncharted territories. Each year Bourbon plays more than 100 shows around the world.
Claude has played countless venues, including Glastonbury Festival, Isle of Wight Festival, Colne Great British & Blues Festival, Rock O'Z Arene, Avenches, Switzerland, among others. He has shared the stage in Europe and the USA with countless musicians, Calvin Russel, Charlie Morgan (Elton John, Gary Moore), Jan Akkerman (Focus), Steve Grossman (Miles Davis), Herbie Armstrong ( Van Morisson), Jose barrense Dias and many more.
Now based in the UK, some of this guitarists’ influences allow us a fascinating insight into this remarkable musician; Paco De Lucia: Deep Purple’s Richie Blackmore; Joaquin Rodrigo; JJ Cale, Monty Python; JS Bach and Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks….
One reviewer even noted that although “Claude’s roots were in blues, that is like saying Leonardo da Vinci was a painter”. Intrigued ?
Experience an evening of exploration in the unique ambiance of the Thumb !

Doors 7:30PM
$10
brownpapertickets.com

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Skyflight Productions presents an evening with Hillsburn from Halifax, Nova Scotia on Saturday November 26, 2016 at The Albert S George Youth Center at Barnesville Memorial Park in Barnesville, OH. In a sense, In The Battle Years represents Hillsburn's formal introduction as a band. But for the members of the quintet, the release of their first album also feels like the end of a long road.
Paul Aarntzen, one of Hillsburn’s three singers and the songwriting force behind the project, remembers clearly the first time the group got together in the spring of 2014: "We crammed four people and half a dozen instruments into my two-door hatchback, drove down to Hillsburn —the village on the Bay of Fundy where I used to live — and spent three straight days playing together."
After two or three such sessions, Aarntzen sold his house and moved to Halifax to work on the band full time.
“It seems ridiculous looking back on it,” he admits. “But we all felt like we’d stumbled onto something good, something worth taking a chance on."
Hillsburn released a self-titled, self-produced EP in October 2014. “At that point, we’d only been rehearsing seriously for a month, but we were excited to share what we’d been working on,” recalls Rosanna Burrill, another of Hillsburn’s singers. “We rented a hundred bucks' worth of gear and recorded the EP in one weekend."
In March 2015, the band entered “Farther In The Fire,” a song from that EP, in CBC’s Searchlight competition, an annual hunt for the best unsigned talent in Canada. The song’s eventual finish in the national top ten led to relationships with Halifax-based independent record label GroundSwell Music and with producer Jon Landry (The Stanfields, The Town Heroes).
Recorded over a two-week period in August 2015, In The Battle Years showcases a clarity of approach that hadn’t had time to develop when Hillsburn released its EP.
“We have a method of choosing songs and of putting arrangements together that’s emerged naturally over a year or so of playing together,” explains Jackson Fairfax-Perry, Hillsburn’s jack-of-all-trades keyboardist, saxophonist, and mandolin player. “I think there’s a feeling of settledness about our sound that comes out of that."
Aarntzen agrees: “When we started out, part of the fun was swapping instruments and seeing what different sounds we could make. We’ve streamlined things now. We know who sounds best doing what, and I think we’re better as a band when each of us is playing to our strengths."
The group also credits Landry with helping to pull the project together.
“We were a bit nervous about inviting a fifth voice into the process,” concedes Clayton Burrill, the third of Hillsburn’s singers and Rosanna's older brother. "We all tend to have strong opinions and we weren’t sure if having another person involved would make it more difficult to get everyone on the same page."
As it turned out, Landry’s input had the opposite effect. "Jon did an amazing job of acting as a facilitator," says Fairfax-Perry. “He brought a fresh perspective to the project. He had a great feel for recognizing when we needed to shake things up a bit, either arrangement-wise or on the performance side."
The material on In The Battle Years is carefully chosen — varied in feel but tied together by recurring lyrical themes and ambitious arrangements.
“We wanted the album to sound as big as possible without straying too far from what people would hear if they came to see us live,” says Aarntzen.
“We drew on everyone’s skills to make that happen,” Clayton continues. “I definitely think you get a better final product when everyone involved feels invested enough in the project to take risks and see where their crazy ideas lead them.”
Having spent a couple of months experimenting with making the material from In The Battle Years work in a live setting, though, the band decided a reconfiguration was necessary.
"We added a bass synth into the mix after recording the album," Fairfax-Perry explains. "We were all really happy with how well that worked but were having a much harder time trying to figure out the percussion side of things."
The answer came in the form of friend and drummer/percussionist Clare Macdonald.
"We're incredibly lucky that Clare was interested in joining the band," says Rosanna. "Knowing her already, and knowing her abilities as a musician, made it such an easy transition. We're a much different band than we were a year ago, but we're a much better band."
The album title is a phrase from “Ava,” the most sparsely-arranged song on the album with just vocals and a keyboard.
“In The Battle Years really felt like it fit as a title,” says Clayton. “It speaks to what we’re doing collectively: taking a long shot at something we’re all really passionate about."
The reality of taking that kind of chance — of struggling to make ends meet, of feeling stuck and discouraged — is one of the album’s central themes. Many of the songs are rooted in a recognition of how difficult life can be.
And yet, there’s a light-hearted defiance and a resilience to Aarntzen’s writing as well. Part of his skill as a lyricist is an ability to set a clear-eyed view of life’s hardships side by side with occasional glimmers of hope and redemption.
“We want to play music that makes people feel something. If it makes you dance, great. If it makes you cry, that’s good too,” he laughs. “Hopefully the album will inspire a bit of both.”
Doors 7:30PM
$12
brownpapertickets.com

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Skyflight Productions presents an evening with Jeff Black on Friday December 2, 2016 at The Albert S George Youth Center at Barnesville Memorial Park in Barnesville, OH. It's the truth behind what an artist does and the way they choose to do it that defines their art. And while the ways in which audiences get their music has changed, the reasons why a certain kind of artist makes music have remained the same. Call it an uncompromising commitment, an inspired motivation, or just the need to share with and connect to those who listen. For Jeff Black, it is his life's work that has driven him to build a career like few other singer/songwriters in the business. Boston's WUMB listeners voted Jeff Black as one of the top 100 most important Folk artists of the last 25 years. Black's songs have earned GRAMMY recognition, radio chart-topping stats and numerous BMI awards. Although flying below the radar as a performer himself, he has been recognized by NPR as a musical pioneer in the digital age and his catalogue of critically acclaimed albums continues to grow. Composing music for film and television, his credits include numerous indie-film soundtracks and a repertoire of songs cut by artists as diverse as Alison Krauss & Union Station, Waylon Jennings, BlackHawk, Dierks Bentley, Jon Randall, John Oates, Jerry Douglas and Sam Bush. Black has forged a reputation as a true folk troubadour entertaining audiences globally for over three decades. A master songwriter and performer in the tradition of the great storytellers, his passionate, soul driven live performances of songs from his vast catalog are not to be missed.


Rebekah Jean will open for Jeff Black. Rebekah Jean is a smooth, powerful voice and honest, pointed lyrics. Raised within earshot of Cleveland, she cut her musical teeth on her father's classic rock while simultaneously singing "I'll Fly Away" in her family's southern Pentecostal church long before the soundtrack from O Brother, Where art Thou? swept listeners into an Americana obsession.

After nearly two years of touring as the tambourine-shaking, bass-climbing backup vocalist and manager for the David Mayfield Parade, Rebekah Jean stepped back from Mayfield's project in 2013 to make a home in Ohio and forge a career out of her own compositions.




Doors 7:30PM
$10
brownpapertickets.com

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