The roots guitarist Neal Casal, who had worked with artists such as Shooter Jennings, Ryan Adams, and Willie Nelson, and was known for a handful of solo albums, has died at 50-years-old.
The news was shared on his Facebook profile earlier this week.
“It’s with great sadness that we tell you our brother Neal Casal has passed away,” the statement read. “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 is best-known for his work on Ryan Adam’s backing band the Cardinals. However, he also played with the Jayhawks, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and the Hard Working Americans. He can be heard on records by Nelson and Jennings, as well as Lucinda Williams, Amanda Shires, and Tift Merritt. His guitar playing was in-demand, with Jennings calling him his “favorite picker in LA.”
Throughout his musical career, Casal released a number of solo albums, including his most recent – 2012’s Sweeten the Distance. He also created the group Circles Around The Sun, who released the album Let It Wander last year, and just dropped the track “Peace Reprise” in February.
Casal’s longtime collaborator Chris Robinson also responded to the news, writing in a statement that “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,” Robinson said. “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.”
At this time, Casal’s cause of death has not been revealed.