Aaron Lee Tasjan’s cosmopolitan-countrified rendition of Neal Casal’s “Traveling After Dark” is released today. It becomes the fifth single to be shared in advance of Highway Butterfly: The Songs Of Neal Casal, a sprawling 41-track collection celebrating of the life and music of the gifted singer, songwriter and musician who passed on August 26, 2019. Scheduled for release November 12 via The Neal Casal Music Foundation and Royal Potato Family, the tribute presents performances of Casal’s songs by artists including Susan Tedeschi & Derek Trucks, Bob Weir, Hiss Golden Messenger, Fruit Bats, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Jonathan Wilson, Billy Strings, Shooter Jennings, Leslie Mendelson, Vetiver, Beachwood Sparks, Jaime Wyatt, Marcus King, J Mascis, Dori Freeman, Warren Haynes, Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band, Cass McCombs, Kenny Roby, Norah Jones’ Puss N Boots and Tim Heidecker among many others.
“This is the right cast of characters to make these songs sparkle the way they deserve,” says Tasjan. “Neal was such a great writer and there is so much humanity in his songs.”
Tasjan’s recording of “Traveling After Dark,” a song originally released on Casal’s 2006 solo album, No Wish to Reminisce, is accompanied by a video (watch/share), featuring footage from the recording session for the track at PLYRZ Studios in Valencia, CA. Tasjan first became a fan of Casal’s when he and Kevin Kinney (Drivin N Cryin) were MCing a weekly night of music in New York City circa 2007. Casal dropped in one evening to perform and Tasjan became a fast convert. They’d later become friends when Tasjan was invited to a recording session for one of Casal’s bands, Hard Working Americans, where they’d bond over a mutual love of Johnny Thunders.
Highway Butterfly: The Songs Of Neal Casal was conceived by Casal’s longtime friend and manager Gary Waldman and was co-produced by Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools and multiple Grammy Award-winning recording engineer/producer Jim Scott.
Casal released 14 albums under his own name during a career spanning a quarter century. In addition to his prolific work as a singer/songwriter, Casal was also an integral member of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, the interconnected Beachwood Sparks and GospelbeacH, Hard Working Americans, The Skiffle Players, Hazy Malaze and Circles Around the Sun.