The final two solo recordings from the late Neal Casal – “Everything Is Moving” and “Green Moon” – have been released across all digital music platforms. The accompanying video for “Everything Is Moving,” directed by Ray Foley, features footage of Casal from throughout his career, has also been released.
The songs were initially written as early as 2013, but Casal, never completed them prior to his passing in August 2019. Over the course of 2020, Casal’s close friends and longtime musical collaborators Jeff Hill, Jon Graboff, John Ginty, George Sluppick, Jena Kraus, JP Hesser and Jim Scott came together to add additional parts and complete mixing on the tracks.
Working on these songs has been truly cathartic for me as I continue to process the loss of my dear friend. Neal writes in ‘Everything Is Moving,’ ‘I am just a shadow on the wall, you won’t even think of me at all.’ As much as Neal’s lyrics can be eerily prophetic of the tragedy to come, he was wrong. So many of us will be thinking of Neal for decades to comeJeff Hill
The two songs are also featured on a limited edition 7-inch vinyl that will be released on February 26, 2020, by the Neal Casal Music Foundation (NCMF) in collaboration with Royal Potato Family, who released Casal’s final solo album, ‘Sweeten the Distance,’ in 2012. Pre-order for the vinyl edition is available now.
All proceeds from the sale of the album will benefit the non-profit formed in Casal’s name, which will provide instruments and lessons to students in New Jersey and New York state schools, where Neal was born and raised, and will also make donations to much needed mental health organizations that support musicians in need.
NCMF is being spearheaded by Casal’s longtime manager Gary Waldman and a team of the late musician’s friends. A first round of funding for the foundation was raised through a Kickstarter campaign earlier this summer comprised by two primary packages: a coffee table photography book, ‘Tomorrow’s Sky: Photographs by Neal Casal’ produced by Jay Blakesberg and edited by his daughter Ricki Blakesberg, along with a 30-plus song tribute album, ‘Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal,’ tentatively planned for release in Spring 2021.
Casal began recording “Everything Is Moving,” which in hindsight hints at some of the struggles he was facing, at The Stable at Studio G in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, around February 2013. The band on these initial sessions featured Casal on acoustic guitar and vocals, Jon Graboff on acoustic guitar, Jeff Hill on bass and Joe Russo on drums. Additional parts were cut in July 2020 w/ Graboff returning to play pedal steel and electric guitar, John Ginty adding piano and Hammond B-3 organ and harmony vocals contributed by Hill and Jena Kraus.
With Casal beginning to envision a new album of solo songs, he started work on “Green Moon” at Castaway 7 Studios near his home in Ventura, CA in the summer of 2016, laying down lead and background vocals, acoustic and electric guitars and piano. Jeff Hill and George Sluppick would add bass and drum tracks respectively to the original recording in October 2020 to complete the song.
Neal Casal was a songwriter, singer, guitarist, record producer, photographer, surfer and friend. Over the course of a 30-plus year career, he appeared on multiple recordings as a member of bands like Circles Around the Sun, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Beachwood Sparks, The Skiffle Players and Hard Working Americans.
With the formation of the Neal Casal Music Foundation, the body of work he left behind, including an extensive archive of unreleased material, will be reimagined to further shine a light on his artistry, while providing resources to raise money for positive change. Neal Casal brought joy to so many and, in his absence, the foundation created in his name will further that purpose. It also hopes to reflect back to Casal the beauty he brought to this world in pursuit of a life dedicated to music and art.
Stream both songs here and watch the videos below.