Marcus King covers “No One Above You” by Neal Casal: Premiere
Friends, peers and admirers have come together to honor the late guitarist and songwriter Neal Casal with a massive box set that pays homage to his life’s work.
Covering three CDs or five LPs, Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal features previously unreleased covers of 41 of his tracks, with contributions from a wide range of artists including Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band, Steve Earle and many more.
One of the most notable covers on Road butterfly is courtesy of young guitar virtuoso Marcus King who shares his take on Casal’s “No One Above You” from the 2000s Anytime tomorrow.
You can hear the cover below.
The original is a slower-paced acoustic song, with Casal’s songwriting taking center stage. When King takes hold of “No One Above You” – with the help of fellow guitarist Eric Krasno – he stays focused on the song’s lyrics while taking it to a new level, trading the acoustic side of things for its sound. expertise steeped in blues.
âI’ve always been a fan of Neal’s instrumental music and a fan of his as a guitarist,â King told UCR. âBut it wasn’t until I was asked to be a part of this project that I really got into his work as a writer. I’m grateful for his music and I’m delighted with the release of this album. “
Dave Schools, bassist and founding member of Widespread Panic, co-produced Road butterfly, and he recalls that the king’s session was the last before the country was shut down at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. âThings were getting weird in the world,â he explains. “We had our own little musical bubble at [coproducer] Jim Scott’s workshop. … Marcus and Eric were late, but when they finally got there we got down to business arranging, rehearsing and recording “No One Above You”. The band was crackerjack and the melody was skyrocketing! It was so moving … and just in time. “
While fans will no doubt be focusing on King’s guitar work, Schools acknowledges that the artist’s voice shines on the cover as well. âHe made the song resonate with soul and positivity,â he says. âWe had a giant choir made up of many artists who had participated in the recording sessions that week singing the chorus at the end of the song, and that got the better of the song. It was special, and that. ‘was a great way to end an already amazing week. “
King is modest as praise is heaped on his performance.
âI feel so blessed and honored to have the opportunity to be part of an album celebrating the life and music of a great writer and a beautiful soul,â King said. “There are so many wonderful friends and musicians [on this album], and I am honored and privileged to be mentioned among [them]. “
Casal has released 14 solo albums during his lifetime and has also been a member of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Circles Around the Sun and several other groups. His work is celebrated through the 41 pieces of Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal. Fans will get a glimpse into his life with a 48-page booklet featuring lyrics, rare and unseen photographs and an essay written by Jim Cardillo. The box set will arrive on November 12. All profits from sales will be donated to the Neal Casal Music Foundation.
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