Neal Casal’s second studio album, ‘Rain, Wind and Speed‘, has been announced for December 2nd reissue on limited edition vinyl via the Neal Casal Music Foundation (NCMF). The 11-song collection initially released in 1996 will be presented on three colour vinyl variants: “Blue Rain”, “Peach, Wind”, and “Black Speed”, along with new liner notes by Casal’s former publishing representative Jim Cardillo who details the period in the late singer-songwriter’s life when the album was created. This news comes just after the third anniversary of Casal’s passing on August 26th, 2019.
The Neal Casal Music Foundation has previously reissued Casal’s first album, ‘Fade Away Diamond Time‘, along with the acclaimed 3-CD / 5-LP box set tribute album, ‘Highway Butterfly: The Songs Of Neal Casal‘, featuring artists like Billy Strings, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Marcus King, J. Mascis, Leslie Mendelson and Bob Weir.
A largely acoustic album, ‘Rain, Wind and Speed‘ was written and recorded in the months immediately following Casal being dropped from his recording contract with Zoo Records. This label had released his debut effort, ‘Fade Away Diamond Time‘. Cardillo explains in the reissue’s essay: “At first Neal couldn’t comprehend what this all meant. No European Tour? No video? No single to radio? No tour support? All of the label’s promises withered and died like bitter fruit left on the vine. It was a disorienting sucker punch that left Neal numb and reeling. Five years of hard work, demos, showcases, phone calls, meetings, no-money gigs, all the results of that labor evaporated.“.
After a handful of stops and starts, Casal made the conscious decision to keep things simple. He would record in a local New Jersey studio not far from where he was living, while the majority of the songs on the album were captured in one take with basic song arrangements accompanied only by John Ginty on piano and Hammond organ, Andy Goessling on mandolin and banjo, Fooch Fischetti on pedal steel guitar, and Chuck Wood on percussion. The resulting collection, ‘Rain, Wind and Speed‘, contained some of Casal’s most enduring songs, including ‘All The Luck In The World’, ‘Virginia Dare‘, and ‘Best to Believe’.
“We were pretty crushed when word came down that Neal was being dropped, as we’d been working towards ‘Fade Away Diamond Time’ for years and to find out it was over just three months after it was released was hard to accept. It had started to get some attention, and Neal was on tour opening for bands like Little Feat and Gov’t Mule, and a fanbase was starting to build for him,” remembers Casal’s manager Waldman. “But ultimately, it resulted in an artistic success. Neal emerged in just five days with this sweet and warm acoustic collection. It was the first time he recorded complete guitar and vocals takes together in the studio with no overdubs. Neal was really proud of this record.”
You can preorder the reissue and other merchandise on the NCMF website.