Everything is moving much too fast, fans of Neal Casal might say. Neal Casal’s final two songs— released on December 3, 2020–seem like closure to the songwriter’s tragic death. Yet is it? A limited-edition 7-inch vinyl is now available for pre-order through the Neal Casal Music Foundation. With the NCMF receiving all of the music’s proceeds, it seems the perfect way to keep Casal’s legacy alive.
“Everything is Moving” may be prophetic. It’s a reflection of the songwriter’s challenges, a flash of inner turmoils in lyrical form. Recorded in 2013 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at The Studio G with Jon Graboff on acoustic guitar, Jeff Hill on bass and Joe Russo on drums, Casal’s acoustic guitar and vocals ooze emotion. Fleshing out the track, Graboff adds pedal steel and electric guitar. John Ginty’s piano,Hammond B-3 organ, and harmony lend an air of reverence to the track. That reverence is found in the vocals contributed by Hill and Jena Kraus as well.
Somehow, “Green Moon” feels like a heartfelt adieu from Neal Casal. Did he know his path already? In many ways, this song is reminiscent of Kenny Roby’s “Silver Moon (for Neal)”. Captured at Venice, California’s Castaway 7 Studios in 2016, this song’s airy feel leads to the transcendent nature of the lyrics. At the beginning of his true solo work, Casal laid down acoustic and electric guitars, lead and background vocals, and piano. To complete the song in October of 2020, Jeff Hill and George Sluppick added bass and drum to the original recording.
For the kids helped through the Neal Casal Music Foundation, each purchase of Neal Casal’s songbook creates a lasting legacy to music in its purest form. Though he is no longer with us in the physical sense, these two final songs are proof that his spirit has found its final, everlasting purpose: one note, and one song, and one instrument at a time. —Lisa Whealy