Neal Casal Tribute Album to Feature Steve Earle, Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, More

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Singer-songwriter-guitarist Neal Casal, who died of a suicide in August 2019, was the kind of artist who did not become a household name but was widely admired by other artists. While he released some 14 solo albums, he also performed in bands with the Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson and (pre-cancelation) Ryan Adams as well as veteran L.A.-based outfit Beachwood Sparks. He was also a respected photographer and appeared in several films (he strummed behind Gwyneth Paltrow in 2011’s “County Strong,” and played on Owen Wilson’s version of David Soul’s “Don’t Give Up on Us, Baby,” for the goofy “Starsky & Hutch” comedy with Ben Stiller).

His solo work will receive a fitting homage in November when Steve Earle, the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and Phil Lesh (performing separately), Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis, Shooter Jennings, Warren Haynes and many more will cover his songs on the posthumous tribute compilation, “Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal.”

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The 40-plus-song, 5-LP/3-CD album will be released by the Royal Potato Family label in connection with the Neal Casal Music Foundation (https://nealcasalmusicfoundation.org), and the proceeds will go to the foundation, a nonprofit geared toward providing mental-health support for musical artists, songwriters and producers, as well as putting musical instruments into the hands of kids who can’t afford them.

“It was an honor to work with Neal Casal,” says Royal Potato Family co-owner Kevin Calabro. “He was an artist in it for all of the right reasons: creation, expression, moving peoples’ hearts and minds, the attempt to show us something deeper in ourselves that connects us all. But even beyond that, he was a close friend and confidant. It wasn’t un-ordinary to receive a package from Neal in the mail with a rare record we’d previously discussed on the phone that he found while digging through the bins at the local record shop on a tour stop. Or to talk to him about a jazz artist he was unaware of and to get a text back a few weeks later with his thoughts after he soaked up that artist’s entire catalog. He cared that much, always.”

The first track to be released from the album is Beachwood Sparks and Gospelbeach’s cover of Casal’s “You Don’t See Me Crying,” which can be heard below, as can a video trailer for the album.

“Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal” track list:

01 Aaron Lee Tasjan : “Traveling After Dark”

02 Jaime Wyatt : “Need Shelter”

03 Beachwood Sparks / Gospelbeach: “You Don’t See Me Crying”

04 Marcus King / Eric Krasno : “No One Above You”

05 Fruit Bats : “Feathers for Bakersfield”

06 Billy Strings / Circles Around the Sun: “All the Luck in the World”

07 Dori Freeman / Teddy Thompson: “Sweeten the Distance”

08 Hiss Golden Messenger : “Time Down the Wind”

09 Johnathan Rice : “Me & Queen Sylvia”

10 Mapache: “Wisest of the Wise”

11 Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band: “Freeway to the Canyon”

12 Leslie Mendelson: “Feel No Pain”

13 Jonathan Wilson / Hannah Cohen: “Detroit or Buffalo”

14 Susan Tedeschi & Derek Trucks: “Day in the Sun”

15 Jimmy Herring / Circles Around the Sun: “Bird With No Name”

16 Shooter Jennings : “Maybe California”

17 Vetiver: “White Fence Round House”

18 Todd Sheaffer : “December”

19 Courtney Jaye : “Grand Island”

20 Oteil Burbridge / Nick Johnson / Steve Kimock / John Morgan Kimock / Duane Trucks : “Superhighway”

21 Britton Buchanan : “Willow Jane”

22 Kenny Roby / Amy Helm : “Too Much to Ask”

23 Bob Weir / Jay Lane & Dave Schools : “Time and Trouble”

24 J Mascis : “Death of a Dream”

25 Tim Heidecker : “The Cold and the Darkness”

26 Warren Haynes : “Free to Go”

27 Rachel Dean : “So Far Astray”

28 Steve Earle & The Dukes : “Highway Butterfly”

29 Victoria Reed : “Angel And You’re Mine”

30 Jason Crosby : “Pray Me Home”

31 Lauren Barth : “Lost Satellite”

32 Jesse Aycock : “The Losing End Again”

33 Puss N Boots: “These Days With You”

34 Tim Bluhm / Kyle Field : “Cold Waves”

35 Zephaniah Ohora / Hazeldine : “Best to Bonnie”

36 The Mattson 2 : “Let It All Begin”

37 Cass McCombs / Ross James / Joe Russo / Farmer Dave Scher / Dave Schools : “You’ll Miss It When It’s Gone”

38 Angie McKenna : “Fell on Hard Times”

39 The Allman Betts Band : “Raining Straight Down”

40 Hazy Malaze / Jena Kraus : “Soul Gets Lost”

41 Robbi Robb: “I Will Weep No More”

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