Tributes Pour In For Musician Neal Casal
Tributes are pouring in for musician Neal Casal, who was found dead on Monday night. He was 50.
“As many of you know, Neal was a gentle, introspective, deeply soulful human being who lived his life through artistry and kindness,” read a statement on his Facebook page. “His family, friends and fans will always remember him for the light that he brought to the world.”
Casal reportedly died by suicide.
“I am absolutely devastated with the news of the loss of my dear friend and consistent collaborator,” wrote Shooter Jennings, in an Instagram post. “He was always my favorite picker in LA and we’d all just finished some beautiful music together. I’m really just hollowed out by this.”
Casal released more than a dozen studio albums between 1995 and 2011 and had stints in Ryan Adams’ band the Cardinals as well as the Chris Robinson Brotherhood – and founded Circles Around the Sun.
Adams remembered Casal as “the kindest soul.” He tweeted: “Oh man. My heart is broken. What an honor to have known you, true believer. I love you. Go easy.”
In an Instagram post, Robinson shared: “I can’t believe I’m having to say goodbye to my friend and my brother. It’s almost too painful. When I think about the songs we’ve written, the shows we’ve played and all the laughs and great times we shared it’s almost unbearable to know you’re gone.
“All of us in this rock & roll life have had to say goodbye to too many people too soon. I can only wish that you’ve found your peace returning to the wisdom of the universe. I miss you so much already, Neal. I’ll see you again, someday past the sunset.”
Casal was also a prolific session musician who played on recordings by artists from Duncan Sheik and James Iha to Willie Nelson and Phil Lesh.
In a 2016 interview, he recalled getting his first guitar for Christmas when he was 12. "I knew right there and then what I wanted to do with my life, and it’s all I’ve ever done,” he said. “It’s never once crossed my mind to do anything else.”
Last year, Casal said in an interview that his was not a rock star life. “Granted, I've gotten to travel the world and see a lot of things that other people haven’t,” he said. “Some of the other life building events that people go though...I haven't had some of those things. It gets harder as you get older.
“I've definitely had an amazing life in music. That's for sure. I've gotten to make so many records, tour, take photographs, write songs, meet new friends, and all of that.”
Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards tweeted: “Sending so much love to Neal Casal's friends and family, and the friends and families of people who lose someone without a chance to say goodbye. Consider that we all carry the hurt much longer than we do the joy, a cruel reality of being human.”
If you or someone you know has thoughts of suicide, click here to find help.
The ASCAP family is saddened to learn of the passing of our member and roots music master Neal Casal – a passionate songwriter, an incredible guitarist and a sweet soul whose spirit will live on through his music and the lives he touched. pic.twitter.com/wUcIpVUWua— ASCAP (@ASCAP) August 27, 2019
RIP @nealcasal We spent a lot of time in the studio together recording the We Don’t Have Forever album. He was both care free and thoughtful which came through in his music. Your music, photography, and pure light will be missed. RIP my friend. pic.twitter.com/bSLu1LRt4U— Bryan Greenberg (@bryangreenberg) August 27, 2019
Our dear friend Neal Casal has gone on to the great gig in the sky. Rest easy, brother. It won’t be the same without you. 💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/KpntdUM0Vh— Greensky Bluegrass (@campgreensky) August 27, 2019
I got to share some heartwarming and inspiring moments with Neal. He was a lovely human being and excellent musician. Bless you, Neal Casal. You touched so many lives. ❤— Aaron Lee Tasjan (@aaronleetasjan1) August 27, 2019
Last week I had the immense honor of going to the studio to see Neal Casal and Circles wrap up work on their new record. I watched from feet away as Neal created that beautiful sound, right in front of me. Will always treasure that memory. Devastated. Rest easy, fly high, Neal. pic.twitter.com/eTjz3gdT5q— Britton Buchanan (@BrittonBuchanan) August 27, 2019
dang, just heard @nealcasal passed away. he befriended me on my very first tour back when i had basically no stage presence & got nervous playing to 5 people. i remember being starstruck by him bc i’d been a big fans of the cardinals. he was so so kind to me, i’ll never forget it— manic pixie nitemare (@CarolineRoseFM) August 27, 2019
Neal Casal was a fantastic musician and a great photographer and a kind, sweet soul. We’ll miss him.— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) August 27, 2019