Aaron Lee Tasjan takes on Neal Casal‘s “Traveling After Dark” in the latest preview of Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal. The 41-track tribute to the late singer/songwriter/guitarist is out on November 12th.
In the hands of fellow singer-songwriter Tasjan, the cut off Casal’s 2006 album No Wish To Reminisce takes on a Warren Zevon-meets-Tom Petty feel thanks to Aaron’s patented indie folk grit. With a stable of talented musicians backing him including Adam MacDougall (Circles Around The Sun), Jesse Aycock (Hard Working Americans), and Highway Butterfly co-producers David Schools and Jim Scott, the telling of “Traveling After Dark” gets a rich, full sound, guided by Tasjan’s beacon of a voice.
“We’re honoring our friend and, yes, sometimes it gets heavy as we discover that, he was a melancholy guy with some loneliness,” Schools says in a behind-the-scenes bonus clip following the credits. “As we go through these songs, lines pop out and Jim [Scott] and I look at each other, then just ‘okay, back to work.’ And we all get together here and, most of the time, it’s just exuberance and joy. You know, and some honor, a lot of honor. Yeah, we miss the guy, and sometimes, ‘what is up with that chord change? Goddamit Neal!’ How’d you get away with that shit?’ But if he’s here, he’s probably snickering to himself in the corner and if there’s such a thing as a ghost camera he’s off in the corner taking ghost pictures of all of us just like he always did.”
Also set to appear on Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal are Susan Tedeschi & Derek Trucks, Bob Weir, Hiss Golden Messenger, Fruit Bats, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Jonathan Wilson, The Allman Betts Band, Shooter Jennings, Beachwood Sparks, Jaime Wyatt, Marcus King, Eric Krasno, J Mascis, Warren Haynes, Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band, Cass McCombs, The Mattson 2, Oteil Burbridge, Steve Kimock, John Morgan Kimock, Duane Trucks, Leslie Mendelson, Johnathan Rice, Billy Strings, Kenny Roby, and Norah Jones’ Puss N Boots, among many others.
“This is the right cast of characters to make these songs sparkle the way they deserve,” Tasjan said in a press release. “Neal was such a great writer and there is so much humanity in his songs.”
All profits from the album, out on November 12th, will benefit the Neal Casal Music Foundation which connects music industry professionals with mental health resources as well as provides music education to children in Casal’s home stage of New Jersey. Click here to pre-order Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal and watch the video for “Traveling After Dark” below or listen on your preferred streaming platform.
Aaron Lee Tasjan – “Traveling After Dark” (Neal Casal)
[Video: Neal Casal]