Neal Casal, a prolific guitarist who was a member of The Cardinals and played alongside Willie Nelson, Phil Lesh, and Chris Robinson throughout a busy solo career, has died.
He was 50.
His friend and publicist Kevin Calabro confirmed his death to CNN.
“Neal Casal’s passing is not only a huge loss for our music community, but for the world as a whole. He brought warmth and kindness with him wherever he went,” Calabro said in an email.
“He was a serious person with a deep intellect, humility and desire to connect in a meaningful way with the world around him. Traits often too rarely found in today’s social media culture. It was honor to represent him. I miss him dearly already.”
Ryan Adams, who led The Cardinals, remembered the artist on his own Instagram page, writing, “Oh man. My heart is broken. It’s too much. What an honor to have known you, true believer. I love you, always. Go easy, brother. Go easy.”
His bandmate Chris Robinson said in a statement, “I can’t believe I’m having to say goodbye to my friend and my brother. It’s almost too painful. When I think about the songs we’ve written, the shows we’ve played and all the laughs and great times we shared it’s almost unbearable to know you’re gone.”
Casal had played this past weekend at the Lockn’ music festival in Arrington, Virginia, when his band Circles Around the Sun, played a late-night set.
The week before they were in the studio, recording a new album.