Grounded by the pandemic, it had been a long time since I took to the air when I departed out of Philly for Labor Day weekend. Destination? Atlanta. Reason? A homecoming/reunion concert featuring Atlanta sons, brothers Chris and Rich Robinson and their band, the Black Crowes. To be honest, I had some reservations about my plans – the Delta variant, the usual fatigue of the work week, and the nagging little existential questions I had started to ask during the long, dark COVID winter - Will live music ever come back? Will I be too old and jaded for rock-n-roll if it does?
In November of 2019, Chris and Rich Robinson announced that in 2020, the two would reunite and bring the rock and roll force of The Black Crowes on a cross-country tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the group’s inaugural powerhouse album Shake Your Money Maker. The tour was to cover the continental United States and bring the southern love back to the fans who had been calling for a long-awaited reunion.
For the last couple of weeks, the talented and notorious Robinson Brothers have been making their way westward on their Brothers of a Feather Tour, playing intimate venues on two continents and showing audiences that neither has lost their love for music, the road, nor each other. With tickets going on sale February 10th, all 11 dates were sold out by day’s end and many venues, within minutes.
The Black Crowes’ Amorica turns a quarter-century-old on November 1st and I cannot stop myself from asking the most cliché of questions - Where did the time go? It is impossible to fathom, the collective twenty-five-year experience of this album’s fans. Times have been kind and cruel, and not always in the right measures. We have been blessed and deprived, lived in grace and despair, fell in love and fallen apart. If we are here, we have survived, and likely learned how to make a space inside for those departed. In twenty-five years, we lost an innocence we did not know we had.
Today, one day prior to what would have been Neal Casal's 51st birthday, nine of the late artist's solo albums that were previously unavailable on digital music platforms have been released. These recordings, which can now be streamed and downloaded in their entirely, make complete Casal's entire solo discography (Listen Here).
Neal Casal recordings released today are:
On Wednesday, September 25, The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY will host a musical tribute to Neal Casal, who tragically passed away on August 26. Casal's former bandmates and musical friends will join together to remember his friendship and music in a career-spanning musical biography.
Artists scheduled to appear include:
Neal Casal, the fifty-year-old guitarist and songwriter, played his final act Saturday evening at the Lockn' Festival in Arrington, Virginia. Judging from the smiles of all those surrounding him onstage, nobody saw it coming.
Revered in the music community for his countless contributions to Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Hard Working Americans, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and Circles Around The Sun, not to mention his twelve solo albums, Casal was unknown commercially, but in high demand across the spectrum.
We are arriving and departing all at the same time.
- David Bowie