Friends, Faith & Songs of the Sea – The Captain’s Crew

The Captain’s Crew, based in North Carolina, has been recording their own brand of acoustic gospel music since 1997. With the release of their tenth album, Friends, Faith & Songs of the Sea, the group has taken a slightly different direction by centering the project around a nautical theme and bringing in friends who have performed with them on various occasions. All proceeds from the sale of this recording will go to the Dare Challenge program, a faith-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation program on the Outer Banks.

The majority of the material on this project are songs previously recorded by artists in the gospel field. The opening track, Love Is Free, comes from the repertoire of the Moody Brothers, and is sung here by a female vocalist, who I assume is Connie Francis. At any rate, it’s a spirited performance and gets the project off to a solid start. If you own a physical copy of the recording, you’ll quickly notice that there’s a myriad of musicians and vocalists listed in the liner notes, but no indication of who is playing and singing on each track.

Master of the Sea was written by Squire Parsons and is performed here by Thomas Baum. Bill Rea’s harmonica playing provides tasteful backup to Baum’s smooth lead vocals.

There’s a Man Walking On The Water, commonly known to listeners as Let’s All Go Down To The River, has been recorded numerous times over the years. It’s performed here in a traditional bluegrass fashion with solid three finger banjo picking from either Kevin Stroud or David Johnson. Another song that has been recorded a good bit throughout the years is The Lighthouse, by Ronnie Hinson. The rendition here is pleasant, but not the most compelling track on the project. 

There’s An Anchor in the Boat is the sole original song on this release. Penned by Eddie Francis, this song has a nice message about relying on the Lord in times of toil, trouble, and uncertainty.

The closing track, Cast Your Net, has a similar message to the aforementioned original by Francis. Written by Jim Kelly, the vocals and instrumentation on this piece is particularly strong, and a great way to end the album.

Friends, Faith, and Songs of the Sea is a fair effort. While the project as a whole isn’t particularly strong, it does have its moments. There’s something here for everyone who enjoys gospel music. Better yet, purchasing a copy will benefit a great cause.

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About the Author

Braeden Paul

Braeden Paul has been involved in various capacities of bluegrass music. A Texas native, Paul has been part of several Dallas-based bands as a mandolinist. He also serves on the board of directors of the Southwest Bluegrass Club in Grapevine, TX. As a writer, Braeden has also contributed numerous music reviews to the Bluegrass Society of America Facebook page, and is the co-author of Texas Bluegrass History: High Lonesome on the High Plains.