Neal Casal has announced the release of a limited edition 7-inch single for Record Store Day 2013 featuring his rendition of The Grateful Dead’s “Mountains of the Moon.” The B-side is an instrumental acoustic guitar-based piece entitled “Grimes’ Surf Story.” Casal is accompanied on both tracks by his band-mate in the Chris Robinson Brotherhood and current Black Crowes‘ keyboardist Adam MacDougall. The 7-inch will be released by Casal’s current label, The Royal Potato Family, on April 20, the date set for this year’s Record Store Day festivities.
Casal explains why he chose to cover The Grateful Dead’s “Mountains of the Moon”:
“I love ‘Mountains Of The Moon’ for its baroque qualities, the very strange lyrics, and it’s just a great melody, plain and simple. There’s a fantastic line, ‘The earth will see you on through this time,’ that really connects with me. It’s also a one of a kind song for The Grateful Dead. It doesn’t resemble anything that came before or after it. The Dead usually had a few of a certain kind of song, but with ‘Mountains,’ there was only one.”
Casal tells the history behind side-B, “Grimes’ Surf Story”:
“The inspiration behind ‘Grimes’ Surf Story’ is a great writer and musician named Jeff Grimes. He lives in Ventura County, California and has been surfing the area since the ’60s. The song was written thinking about the stories he’s told me of growing up in this area and witnessing life’s changes through the decades. I was also hoping to capture some of the spirit of influences like Robbie Basho, Peter Walker and John Fahey, but at the same time bring an original twist to working within that tradition. So I asked Adam MacDougall to do his thing on Moog, Clavinet and Rhodes, which brings something a bit different to that style and really sets the piece apart for me.”
Casal, a self-proclaimed “record freak,” owns thousands of LPs and frequently visits record stores around the country while on tour. He has this to say about what Record Store Day means to him:
“Record stores, what can I say except, GO to record stores! Don’t sit home and buy music online, actually get off your ass and go to record stores. Buy records. Keep record stores alive, don’t let them die, buy music from real people at real record stores. That’s Record Store Day.”
Neal Casal is an acclaimed singer/songwriter whose discography includes ten solo albums. His latest recording, Sweeten The Distance, was released by The Royal Potato Family in 2012. In addition to his solo work, Casal is a member of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood for whom he contributes lead guitar and vocal harmonies. Prior to that he spent over five years as a member of Ryan Adams & The Cardinals. The Ventura County, California-based artist is an in-demand studio and touring musician, as well, whose credits include work with Beachwood Sparks, The Jayhawks, Vetiver, The Fruit Bats and Lucinda Williams. This past year, he was invited to perform alongside The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. Casal is currently on the road playing guitar for Iris Dement.