Neal Casal – RIP

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Un’altra dolorosissima perdita. Scompare all’età di 50 anni un artista straordinario come Neal Casal. Chitarrista dal gusto inconfondibile, cantautore ma anche stimatissimo fotografo (il suo primo libro “A View of Other Windows” esce nel 2010). Nato in New Jersey, Casal inizia la carriera musicale a metà anni ’90, dopo essersi fatto apprezzare in una delle incarnazioni più recenti dei Blackfoot di Rickey Medlocke. Per tutti gli anni ’90 pubblica lavori solisti, concedendosi poi ad una serie di preziose collaborazioni che lo porteranno al progetto Hazy Malaze (con Dan Fadel e Jeff Hill) durato lo spazio di tre album. Quindi lega il suo nome ai Cardinals di Ryan Adams, un sodalizio che inizia nel 2005 per concludersi sei anni dopo quando lo ritroviamo assieme ai Brotherhood di Chris Robinson (l’ultima testimonianza è proprio il recentissimo ‘Servants Of The Sun’, oltre alla chitarra nel nuovo Fruit Bats e Little Wings). In mezzo spazio anche ai supergruppi Hard Working Americans – in compagnia di Todd Snider, Dave Schools, Chad Staehly e Duane Trucks – e The Skiffle Players (con Cass McCombs tra gli altri), senza dimenticare la psichedelia del progetto Circles Around The Sun. Neal Casal è morto suicida.

Chris Robinson:

Neal- 
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. -CR

Dal profilo ufficiale un commosso pensiero:

It’s with great sadness that we tell you our brother Neal Casal has passed away. 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.

Ryan Adams lo ricorda così:

Oh man. 
My heart is broken. It’s too much 
What an honor to have known you, true believer. I love you, always. Go easy, brother. Go easy. Through thick and thin your heart was a lighthouse of kindness. Your eyes a mirror to a better world- your soul bled into ever note. I don’t know how to even feel right now. Grateful for your time. But immense loss. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

His Golden MessengerNeal Casal was among the very best at what he did and I am very sad to hear that he’s gone. Thanks for making the world better for a little while, Neal.