Chris Robinson Brotherhood guitarist Neal Casal has died at age 50

Chris Robinson Brotherhood performing at Thalia Hall in Chicago on Jan. 25, 2019

Photo courtesy of Laurie Fanelli

Prolific guitarist Neal Casal has passed away at age 50. Though not much is known, with regard to the multi-instrumentalist’s unexpected death, Pitchfork has reported it was by suicide.

The announcement of Casal’s death came yesterday (Aug. 27) via a social media message from the musician’s official Instagram account:

“It’s with great sadness that we tell you our brother Neal Casal has passed away. As so 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.”

Casal, an influential guitarist with a decades-long career, has collaborated with such artists as Willie Nelson, Phil Lesh, Lucinda Williams and Shooter Jennings, among others. He played with the Jayhawks and the Hard Working Americans and was the lead guitarist in Ryan Adams’ backing band The Cardinals from 2005 to 2009 and was a member of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.

Chris Robinson responded to the news of Casal’s death on Twitter:

“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 released 12 albums as a solo artist, beginning with 1995’s Fade Away Diamond Time. He also founded the group Circles Around The Sun, with whom he played this past weekend at the Lockn’ music festival in Arrington, VA.