Neal Casal - Rain, Wind & Speed


The Royal Potato Family



Product No.:
ARPF 2301
UPC: 020286240037
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Vinyl Record

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Vinyl reissue of singer-songwriter Neal Casal's second studio album

Neal Casal's second studio album, the tender Rain, Wind And Speed — originally released in 1996 — was recorded in just five days in a neighborhood studio. After some personnel changes at Zoo Records, the label that had released Fade Away Diamond Time, cut Neal from their roster. He got back in a neighborhood studio with a minimalized ensemble and recorded this record "to get closer to the musical truth" for independent local New Jersey label Buy or Die Records.

Casal's longtime champion and former publishing representative Jim 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."

Rain, Wind and Speed felt like a more purely "alt-country" record, probably due to songs like "Hands on the Plow," the subtle twang in Neal's voice in "Name in Vain," and the down-home instrumentation on "Annabelle." In Neal's words, from the liner notes, it's "the kind of record where someone sits down, sings and plays a song all the way through and leaves it just like it is, rough spots and all, without fixing a thing- it may not be perfect, but it's got something."

It's certainly one of the most intimate-sounding records, not overly-produced, just Neal's young voice over an acoustic guitar or a subtle steel note, Hammond key, or mandolin pluck, right next to your ear. The dirge-like "Angels on Hold" is a favorite, and "Pilot's Song" is achingly gorgeous. The singular piano-driven song, "To Look For You," is another favorite on the album, stripped down and laid bare, written at sunrise during the Fade Away recording sessions, just those keys and Neal's voice full of longing and sincerity.

1. Hands on the Plow
2. Name in Vain
3. Break Even
4. Virginia Dare
5. Angels on Hold
6. Annabelle
7. To Look for You
8. All the Luck in the World
9. Best to Believe
10. Pilot’s Song
11. I Will Weep No More

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