Guitarist and Singer-Songwriter Neal Casal Dead at 50
Folk and Americana singer-songwriter Neal Casal died on Monday (Aug. 26), following a career that spanned roughly three decades. He was 50 years old and died by suicide, according to Pitchfork.
An in-demand session artist, Casal appears on albums such as Willie Nelson's Songbird (2006), Amanda Shires' Carrying Lightning (2011) and Ryan Adams' Easy Tiger (2007). After news of his death broke, many of the artists who count themselves among Casal's collaborators and friends shared remembrances of him on social media.
"Crushed. We love you. I love you," Shires wrote on Instagram. "Find some Swimmin' up there. Rest easy Neal Casal."
In addition to his work in the studio with other artists, Casal was also a prolific performer. In the late '80s, he played in the Florida rock band Blackfoot. He also released eight solo studio projects over the course of his life, beginning with the 1995 debut album Fade Away Diamond Time. Casal was a member of several bands over the years, including the Chris Robinson Band and the Skiffle Players. In the week leading up to his death, he was at work on a new album with rock group Circles Around the Sun.
"It's with great sadness that we tell you our brother Neal Casal has passed away," Casal's team wrote on Facebook on Tuesday (Aug. 27). "As so many of you know, Neal was a gentle, introspective, deeply soulful human being who lived his life through artistry and kindness. His family, friends and fans will always remember him for the light he brought to the world."
In addition to his work as a musician, Casal also had a career as a photographer. He released his first book of photography, Ryan Adams & the Cardinals: A View of Other Windows, in 2010, and also published work in Rolling Stone and USA Today.
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