Born in New Jersey on November 2, 1968, country-rock songwriter Neal Casal enjoyed an acclaimed solo career before joining Ryan Adams' backing band, the Cardinals, in the mid-2000s. Casal had a restless childhood following the divorce of his parents, spending time in such various states as Georgia, California, Michigan, Florida, and upstate New York. At the age of 13, he received what would prove to be the catalyst for his music career: the twin gifts of a guitar and a copy of the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St. The budding singer/songwriter was fronting his own band by high school, taking inspiration from the swagger of the Stones as well as the craft of Peter Tosh, Hank Williams, and Woody Guthrie. A publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music arrived in 1991, and a contract with Zoo Records followed three years later.