Neal Casal, the singer-songwriter and Cardinals multi-instrumentalist, has died by suicide, his representative tells Pitchfork. He was 50 years old. Casal, who left his imprint across folk and Americana in a career spanning three decades, had been recording an album with Circles Around the Sun in the week before his death. His body was found yesterday evening (August 26).
Casal began his career in the late 1980s with a stint in the Florida rock band Blackfoot. After his debut solo album, 1995's Fade Away Diamond Time, Casal embarked on a wide-ranging career including several more solo LPs. He performed with the Cardinals from 2005 until the group's hiatus in 2009, on releases including Ryan Adams' Easy Tiger and the Willie Nelson album Songbird. His various outfits also include the Skiffle Players, with Cass McCombs and Beechwood Sparks members. In 2010, he released a book of photography titled Ryan Adams & the Cardinals: A View of Other Windows, with a foreword by Adams and an afterword by Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh, with whom he often performed.
A statement from Casal's team reads: "As many of you know, Neal was a gentle, introspective, deeply soulful human being who lived his life through artistry and kindness. His family, friends and fans will always remember him for the light that he brought to the world. Rest easy Neal, we love you."
Anyone in need of help can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or SuicidePreventionLifeline.org to chat with someone online.