Neal Casal (November 2, 1968 – August 26, 2019^), guitarist for Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Circles Around the Sun and Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, has reportedly passed away. The Circles Around The Sun website has been updated with his photo only, and now the news is officially per his Twitter account. Pitchfork is reporting and we’ve confirmed that he died by suicide.
It’s with great sadness that we tell you Neal Casal has passed. As so many know, Neal was a gentle, soulful human who lived life through artistry & kindness. His family, friends & fans will always remember the light that he brought to the world. Rest easy Neal, we love you. pic.twitter.com/Q0ap7jrkUC
— Neal Casal (@nealcasal) August 27, 2019
Musicians and fans have already taken to social media for an outlet for the sad news. Ryan Adams has worked with Casal and tweeted out the following message below (as did other musicians directly in Neal’s sphere).
My heart is broken
What an honor to have known you, true believer. I love you. Go easy
“I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain”#RIPNealCasal pic.twitter.com/4vlj3l2EoU
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) August 27, 2019
Lost one my best friends today. A man of upmost musical integrity and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. Heartbroken. Neal Graeme Casal.
— Dan Grimm (@Dansgrimm) August 27, 2019
We are devastated by the news. 😢
Our thoughts are with Neal’s friends, family and fans today.
The source said that Casal had been “struggling on and off for the past year” with some personal issues, which his family and friends were helping him work through. He had been in the studio last week with Circles Around The Sun recording a new studio album and over the weekend they performed a well-received set at the LOCKN’ Festival in Arrington, Virginia. “It appeared he was in a good head space. On Monday, however, he went home and stopped returning calls and texts from friends.” The source said Casal’s body was found on Monday evening. [via]
In a freshly published interview on Rolling Stone, Neal is interviewed and reflects on his life.
“If you play guitar with the right touch and the right sounds and the right feeling, you can make very little go a long way. I’m not comparing myself to B.B. King, but he was one of those people who could just play one note and kind of speak the world to you. If I had any aspiration, it would be that, though I don’t know if I’ll ever get to that place, you know? I guess every kid who ever picks up a guitar would dream of becoming a guitar hero, but I certainly don’t see myself that way.”