With a host of traditional instruments, sing-along choruses, and carefully crafted lyrics, the Low Tide Drifters create original roots-based songs that reflect the struggles and stories of everyday people in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Influenced by Woody Guthrie, Utah Phillips, Billy Bragg, Hazel Dickens, and other socially conscious songwriters of all musical genres, they bring a respect for the past and a concern for the future to their particular brand of “underdog folk music.”
The Low Tide Drifters started performing in 2007 as a trio made up of husband-and-wife songwriting duo Nathan Moore and Kate Downing and harmonica player Dennis Soper. Since then, the group has evolved and expanded, and the current lineup includes multi-instrumentalist Chico Schwall, percussionist Wendy Schwall, and bassist Rachael Young. They have performed everywhere from large concert halls, folk clubs, and coffee houses to union halls, university classrooms, and retirement homes. As activist musicians, they continue to donate their talents to human rights, labor, and other community organizations by performing frequently at benefit concerts and fundraisers.
In 2011, the Low Tide Drifters released their first full-length album, New Hard Time Blues. A diverse collection of songs about activism, parenthood, and working-class life in the Pacific Northwest, the album received positive reviews as well as national and international airplay. Music for the Rest of Us is their second full-length album, and it features eight original compositions along with cover versions of songs by folksinger and longshoreman Harry Stamper and Scottish songwriter Alistair Hulett. From the Depression-era romance that unfolds in “My Vivian” to the contemporary struggles of low-wage workers in “Living on Too Little,” the album combines folk, bluegrass, country, and even a bit of punk to paint a lyrical picture of hope in the midst of hard times.
Nathan Moore: Guitar/Vocals/Songwriting
Kate Downing: Banjo/Vocals/Songwriting
Dennis Soper: Harmonica(s)/Vocals
Chico Schwall: Mandolin/Fiddle/Guitars/Vocals
Wendy Schwall: Percussion/Accordion/Vocals
Rachael Young: Bass/Vocals