Billy Strings & Circles Around The Sun Honor Neal Casal With ‘All The Luck In The World’
Over 30 artists covered the late Neal Casal‘s tunes for Highway Butterfly: The Songs Of Neal Casal, a double album/triple album vinyl due in 2021 that will benefit the Neal Casal Music Foundation (NCMF). The first single from the compilation features Billy Strings and Circles Around The Sun teaming up for “All The Luck In The World.”
Casal died by suicide last August. The NCMF 501(c)(3) non-profit organization celebrates the legacy of the Circles Around The Sun founder and longtime member of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood and Ryan Adams & The Cardinals by providing instruments and lessons to youngsters in New Jersey and New York as well as by making donations to mental health organizations that help musicians in need. Highway Butterfly: The Songs Of Neal Casal and the photography book Tomorrow’s Sky: Photographs By Neal Casal are being put together and will raise funds for the Neal Casal Music Foundation.
“If we can raise some money and help somebody get through their life as a musician, that would be the best legacy we could leave in Neal’s name,” Casal’s longtime manager and NCMF organizer Gary Waldman told Rolling Stone about the foundation, which already donated more than $25K to MusiCares. A Kickstarter campaign has been established to help produce Tomorrow’s Sky and Highway Butterfly.
Billy Strings assembled with the surviving members of Circles Around The Sun for a session held in February that led to their rendition of “All The Luck In The World.” Jim Scott and Widespread Panic/ bassist Dave Schools, who each had a long history of collaborating with Casal, are the co-producers of Highway Butterfly: The Songs Of Neal Casal. Warren Haynes, Phil Lesh, Lucinda Williams, Marcus King, Leslie Mendelson, Jimmy Herring, Eric Krasno and Vetiver are among others who contributed to the forthcoming tribute album.
“He had tasteful restraint. When I go up onstage and play, I just try to get it for everything I can and eat it all up. Neal was able to sit back and choose his notes so wisely. He had that in spades. He could craft a very musical guitar solo,” Billy Strings said of Casal to Rolling Stone, who premiered the album’s first single. “His photography will always stick out to me too. You got an insight into what his mind was like. He was such a beautiful person, a beautiful creative mind.”
Neal Casal originally released “All The Luck In The World” on his Rain Wind & Speed solo album in 1996. Watch the video for Strings & CATS’ version below: