Sweeten the Distance
(Royal Potato Family)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Singer/songwriter Neal Casal may not be a household name, but he plays behind plenty of acts that are. He’s lent his talents to four albums by Ryan Adams along with discs from Chris Robinson (whose band he is currently in), the Jayhawks, Fruit Bats, Vetiver and Beechwood Sparks.
Casal boasts a beautiful tenor voice that floats above these lovely, strummy gems that split the difference between folk and county. He adds just enough rock punch to toss Buffalo Springfield into a list of influences that includes Gram Parsons and the sweeter side of Neil Young. With a batch of quality but under the radar releases dating back to 1995, he’s long overdue to emerge from the shadows of others and take center stage.