Los Angeles-based instrumental supergroup Circles Around the Sun is a contemporary instrumental rock band, initially formed with the purpose of creating music for “Fare Thee Well”, a series of reunion concerts played by the surviving members of the Grateful Dead. Those shows celebrated the band’s 50th anniversary and served as their official send-off, while Circles Around the Sun was designed to reflect the Dead's overall spacy and groove-laden feel. After the tour, the group released a self-titled album from the Fare Thee Well gigs, supporting the record with their own road trip. The response was so positive that they continued on with a follow-up project, Let It Wander, in 2018. This record was less influenced by the Dead and more free-form, delivering on the roots influence of jazz-funk, soul, and fusion. The band underwent a fundamental transition in 2019. After completing the Meets Joe Russo EP and a third album, their guitarist Neal Casal committed suicide on August 26, 2019. He left his bandmates a note asking for them to continue in his absence – to continue recording, touring, and playing together. The band decided to carry on with a rotating cast of guitarists, landing on John Lee Shannon as the permanent replacement.
In this metamorphosis, Circles Around the Sun spans both heartbreak and hope. Doors close; windows open; new directions extend themselves in mysterious ways. But sometimes you know it’s real from the first beat. It just clicks. It’s just how Neal would want it. It’s Circles Around The Sun.