A Raised Fist & A Helping Hand

Low Tide Drifters – WSO Interview #2

“We are inspired by what is happening in the UK and honored to be part of the movement.”

Low Tide Drifters
Band and Organisers

low-tide-drifters-2014What event are you involved in?

We are involved in organizing an event in Eugene, Oregon, which is in the United States. We’re still working on a venue, specific date, and a lineup, but so far it looks like we’ll be performing along with the Mark Ross (America’s Most Famous Unknown Folksinger), Cross Current (a fantastic songwriting duo composed of Steve Gibson and Ken Zimmerman), the SEIU Local 503 Labor Choir, and more to be announced.

Tell us something interesting about yourself

We compose and perform underdog folk music – what we like to call “music for the rest of us.” Our songs champion the stories and struggles of working class people in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. In addition to our working class roots, we have a strong connection to the region in which we live. From the windy coastlines of Astoria and Coos Bay to the high desert of eastern Oregon, it seeps into our lyrics and melodies. We are also a multi-generational band, made up union members and long time activists.

Our influences our very broad. We are inspired by socially-conscious songwriters from the U.S. such as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Hazel Dickens, Harry Stamper, and others. We also have a huge respect for the political folk music of the England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, and many other countries. We are big fans of Alistair Hulett, Leon Rosselson, The Men They Couldn’t Hang, and many others.

Finally, our songs are co-written by husband-and-wife songwriting duo, Nathan Moore and Kate Downing, and everyone in the band contributes to the arrangements. In the U.S., the music industry focuses too much on the personalities of “singer-songwhiners.” We prefer to function as a ramshackle, and somewhat anarchistic, musical collective.

What made you want to get involved?

The “We Shall Overcome” project is incredibly inspiring! We love the idea of a grassroots musical movement that directly benefits communities. It is truly incredible that it is spreading far and wide (and without the egos and distraction of big celebrities!). When Tony from the Hurriers suggested that we hold a solidarity event in Eugene, we realized that it would be a fantastic way to contribute to the project. It’s also been a nice way to get to get to know musicians in the U.K. that we hadn’t heard of yet.

What inspires you or makes you hopeful?

We’re constantly inspired by the activism that we see in our community. Our city has a lot of homeless people and people who live on the edge, but we see many activists and organizations working to directly alleviate poverty and hunger. That’s why we are using our event to raise funds and resources for Food For Lane County, a fantastic organization that fights food insecurity and hunger in our area.

What are you most looking forward to about October 2-4?

Being part of a global movement and using our music to support solidarity, community, and direct action. This is why we started playing our music in the first place. Often, the folk and “Americana” scenes in the U.S. remain apolitical and divorced from the daily struggles of working class people. We are inspired by what is happening in the U.K and honored to be part of the movement.



Author: Matt Hill Songwriter

Storytelling singer-songwriter and community artist who offers a British take on folk and Americana. Formerly known by the stage name Quiet Loner. Recent projects include a songwriting residency in a museum, an album co-written with people at a homeless project and a stint as a resident musician in a prison.

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