In roughly forty-three hours, the Neal Casal Music Foundation Kickstarter will be over. Currently 1,082 people have donated totaling $130,307.00 and counting. So why write anything at this point? Well, we all need a little more Neal Casal. Neal Casal’s story is of a thirty-year career tragically cut short. I’m so glad Neal got a guitar for his 13th birthday instead of an Atari, aren’t you? The Neal Casal Music Foundation will carry on his legacy, making sure New York and New Jersey students have access to instruments and lessons, as well as continued support for MusicCares Backline.
Another way the foundation will carry on Neal’s legacy is with Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal. As we all navigate these strange days, there’s no doubt music’s healing vibrations soothe the soul. Have you watched Billy Strings or Circle Round the Sun during lockdown, like me? Grammy-winning engineer/producer Jim Scott and Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools at PLYRZ Studio (Wilco, Grace Potter, Tedeschi Trucks, Crowded House) in Valencia, California will give wings to the triple album. Holding my breath and waiting for the contributions of Leslie Mendelson and Marcus King & Eric Kranso helps ground my soul a bit longer. It’s a perfect place for a reincarnation of Casal’s songs.–Lisa Whealy