Neal Casal, who died last year at the age of 50, will be honored with a multi-artist tribute album titled Highway Butterfly, after one of his songs (see below). It will feature “a wide range of artists from the rock, Americana and country worlds,” according to a press release, and be co-produced by Dave Schools of Widespread Panic, and Jim Scott (who has worked with The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Wilco and many others)
Proceeds will go to MusiCares and Backline.Care — both organizations provide health and mental health care for musicians in need — as well as the new Neal Casal Music Foundation, which will provide music instruments and lessons for children in New Jersey schools.
The first session for the album will feature Billy Strings backed by Casal’s band, Circles Around the Sun. Casal, a Denville native, was also a solo artist and a member of groups such as Ryan Adams & the Cardinals and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.
Justin Kreutzmann, son of The Grateful Dead’s Bill Kreutzmann, is planning to direct a documentary about Casal and the making of this album.
Casal’s death was by suicide. According to the press release, the album “hopes to reflect some of the beauty Casal brought to this world back to him and in the process raise awareness and resources for musicians and artists facing the same struggles as Casal in pursuit of a life dedicated to music and art.”
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