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The Folk Music Hour: Past Episodes 2019

David Calder presents the music he loves in The Folk Music Hour, with the aim of rekindling listeners' interest in acoustic music in the Anglo-American tradition, including NZ folk song, and world folk music such as that heard at WOMAD in New Plymouth's beautiful Brookland's Park.

Airing time: Your choice; on-demand

Almost all music has a folk origin: blues, jazz, rock and even so-called classical. As Big Bill Broonzy famously said - "all songs are folk songs; ain't never heard a horse sing!"

Arguably the first Kiwi to make a living with a mandolin, David spent some of his musical life playing bluegrass, but was performing in the folk boom as early as 1964.

He was playing in Europe and the UK in the 70s, dabbling in folk rock and pop in California in the 80s, and creating a country garden in the 90s and teaching children to read.

These days, kind of retired, he is free to pursue any of the musical paths he loves: song-writing, tuition, and performance with guitar, piano, banjo, mandolin, autoharp, dulcimer, even bass; playing jazz, folk, blues and originals. Or to just kick back and listen to Bach or Grappelli ...

A long-standing performer of NZ folk, Davey also maintains a love affair with US old-time music nurtured since Doc Watson's LPs first made it to these shores. A natural entertainer since his debut on radio aged six, David thinks radio is the perfect performance medium.



Click on the title of an episode to listen


The then-Wellington trio's seminal albums have been remastered onto CD, but they were recorded before the term psych-folk had even been thought of.

Duration: 00:58:10 | Date: 23 June, 2019

Martha Louise

The American-born musician and songwriter has made NZ her home, and can be seen at many venues around greater Auckland singing with her mates.

Duration: 00:58:34 | Date: 16 June, 2019

Gumboot Tango

The Taranaki Kiwiana exponents' two albums from the 90s are still not past their amuse-by date.

Duration: 00:57:53 | Date: 9 June, 2019

Kath Tait

Kiwi singer Kath Tait is more well known in the UK than in NZ, but her wry sense of humour and idiosyncratic songwriting deserve a wide following here.

Duration: 00:55:59 | Date: 3 June, 2019

Mike Harding

Duration: 00:55:58 | Date: 26 May, 2019

Victoria Vigenser

Victoria Vigenser is an extraordinary talent and we predict a global future for her beautifully sung and thoughtful songs. A FMH NZMM special.

Duration: 00:59:07 | Date: 19 May, 2019

Folk Blokes

A programme of songs by Kiwi bloke artists, part of our NZ Music Month series.

Duration: 00:59:20 | Date: 11 May, 2019

NZ Women Folk

A programme of songs by Kiwi women artists, part of our NZ Music Month series.

Duration: 00:57:41 | Date: 5 May, 2019

NZMM Come All Ye

We launch into NZ Music Month with a programme of Kiwi singers and songs. Thanks to those who generously shared their music, we have enough for over two months!

Duration: 00:57:18 | Date: 28 April, 2019

Anzac Day Special

As we honour the fallen, we play songs, both rock and folk, which touch on many wars, and ask why so many died to create our two nations and our legends.

Duration: 00:49:57 | Date: 21 April, 2019

Four Women of English Folk

Shirley Collins, Maddy Prior, June Tabor and Norma Waterson have all enriched the repertoire of Anglo-American Folk Music.

Duration: 00:57:49 | Date: 14 April, 2019

Robert Burns

Of the hundreds of recorded hours of Robert Burns' poems and songs, the Folk Music Hour plays some gems, and reveals the importance and enduring charm of this world famous Scot.

Duration: 00:54:01 | Date: 7 April, 2019

Siblings 2

A second programme of folk artists who happen to be sisters, or brothers, or both, from both sides of the Atlantic. Who would you nominate for a third such show? [email protected]

Duration: 00:58:27 | Date: 31 March, 2019

Sona Jobarteh

Sona Jobarteh's Kora music from The Gambia wowed WOMAD 2019, bringing light into NZ's darkest days. The festival was a triumph of shared cultures, kindness and peaceful coexistence.

Duration: 00:54:28 | Date: 24 March, 2019

Mimi Baez Farina

The younger sister of Joan Baez made a great contribution to folk song and to the humanitarian Bread and Roses organisation

Duration: 00:53:47 | Date: 17 March, 2019

Good For a Laugh

Folk Music sometimes seems to take itself a little too seriously. This programme mines the rich vein of humour in the genre.

Duration: 00:59:54 | Date: 10 March, 2019

Balkan Folk

We step outside the comfort zone of the Anglosphere to explore some beautiful folk music from Estonia

Duration: 00:57:07 | Date: 3 March, 2019

Folk Wover View

A listen to some of the 'folkier' acts at WOMAD 19 in New Plymouth, March 15 through 17 at the Bowl of Brooklands.

Duration: 00:58:33 | Date: 24 February, 2019

Mixtape 3

A repertoire of songs that don’t necessarily fit a theme but are too good to miss

Duration: 00:56:01 | Date: 17 February, 2019

McCutcheon Plays Seeger

Our annual Pete Seeger show honours his passing in late January; this one features John McCutcheon's tribute album "To Everyone In All The World".

Duration: 00:58:20 | Date: 10 February, 2019

Maeve Gilchrist

Maeve Gilchrist, the Scottish lever harp virtuosa now resident in the US, is on tour round the North Island in February. Details of the tour at, or drop a line to [email protected] Here's a glimpse of her great playing and singing.

Duration: 00:56:54 | Date: 3 February, 2019

Summer Festivals

The first programme for 2019 plays some of the music from two summer festivals, the Auckland Folk Festival, and Kiwigrass near Hamilton.

Duration: 01:00:10 | Date: 27 January, 2019

Sandy Denny

Sandy Denny is regarded as one of the UK's finest singer-songwriters and her work has grown in stature over the years. Her effortless, smooth vocal delivery still sets the standard for many of today's female folk-based singers.

Duration: 01:00:23 | Date: 6 January, 2019