New Jersey songwriter Neal Casal might not be the most familiar name, per se, but his music career has involved working with some pretty big names. He is perhaps best known for his enduring role as Ryan Adams' lead guitarist of choice on a clutch of his Cardinals albums, including "Easy Tiger" and "Cardinology".
But, as well as Adams, Casal has also strummed and riffed on releases from none other than Willie Nelson on his 2006 "Songbird" set, as well as Lucinda Williams, James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), Mark Olson (The Jayhawks) and on one my personal favourite albums of 2011, "Bright Examples" by Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion.
So, if you want an expert session guitarist with the deftest of touches, who ya gonna call? You've guessed right. This man. Black Crowes' Chris Robinson, currently touring the US and surely due over here in 2012 [just as his brother, Rich Robinson is - Ed], did just that and employed Casal as on-tour guitarist. After that lucrative and enjoyable experience however, it's back to solo business and the task of promoting it world-wide. Next stop - the UK.
The new album has just been issued over here - entitled "Sweeten the Distance", the collection was produced by Vetiver, Pernice Brothers and Devendra Banhart producer, Thom Monahan. Sitting somewhere within the realms of reflective Americana, the album is Casal's 10th solo work, which should mean well-attended shows in the spring.
So far Neal has confirmed just a few UK shows, starting with Newcastle on 1st March, with further dates in Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Camden. Tickets are on sale from us now, priced at £14 (£17.50 for London). With that new album and a vast catalogue to choose from, you can expect tickets to sell quickly - and more dates to be added!
The March tour has been postponed until the summer, with the first date being Edinburgh on 26th May.