Multi-Instrumentalist Neal Casal Dead At 50

Scott Dudelson / WireImage
– Neal Casal
Neal Casal performs with Chris Robinson Brotherhood at Kentucky’s Bourbon & Beyond Festival in September 2017.

Acclaimed singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Neal Casal has died, representatives confirmed on social media. Casal was 50 years old.

“It’s with great sadness that we tell you our brother Neal Casal has passed away,” a statement posted to the musician’s Facebook reads. “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 that he brought to the world. Rest easy Neal, we love you.”

Casal, who first gained notoriety as a member of Blackfoot, the band that also featured Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Rickey Medlocke, in the late ’80s and early ’90s, released 12 studio albums of his own from 1995 to 2011.

He was also known as a coveted session and touring musician. From 2005 to 2009, Casal played in Ryan Adams’ backing band The Cardinals; since 2010, Casal had been a member of Chris Robinson Brotherhood, the group fronted by the Black Crowes frontman.

In 2013, Casal formed the supergroup Hard Working Americans with Todd Snider, Chad Staehly, Duane Trucks and Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools.

More recently, Casal had made waves as a creative force behind Circles Around The Sun, the group that composed the house music played during the intermissions at the Grateful Dead’s “Fare Thee Well” concerts in 2015.

Just this weekend, Casal performed twice at Lockn’ in Arrington, Va., with Circles Around The Sun and with Oteil & Friends, the collaborative project led by Dead & Company bassist Oteil Burbridge. 

Casal’s numerous studio credits included performances on albums by Willie Nelson, Shooter Jennings and Amanda Shires.