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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.

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Click here to explore past episodes from 2020

Click here to explore past episodes from 2018 

Click here to explore past episodes from 2017

Click here to explore past episodes from 2016

Click here to explore past episodes from 2015

Click here to explore past episodes from 2014 



Click on the title of an episode to listen

Happy Christmas

Season's Greetings
Another Old Year soon gives way to the New Year, and we we wish you a happy summer with a programme of songs for the festive season.

Duration: 00:52:22 | Date: 15 December, 2019

Old Roots, New Boots

Traditional songs can walk out in new stylings, and the Kronos Quartet have collaborated with four singers, arranging striking string settings for the voices. The result makes for a beautiful programme of folk music.

Duration: 00:58:14 | Date: 8 December, 2019

First Woverview 2020

A first look at some of the artists who will be performing at WOMAD 2020

Duration: 00:56:37 | Date: 1 December, 2019

Kiwi Women Songwriters

Celebrating NZ women who write and sing contemporary folk but with hints of jazz and lashings of country

Duration: 00:56:55 | Date: 24 November, 2019

The Singing Word 4

Rounding off our series about poetry set to music, including Emily Dickinson, Kipling, Behan and Burns, ranging from the Americas to Ireland, Scotland and England to NZ's West Coast.

Duration: 00:57:19 | Date: 17 November, 2019

The Singing Word 3

More verse set to music, poems becoming immortal songs, including arguably the world's most famous folk song.

Duration: 00:53:36 | Date: 10 November, 2019

The Singing Word 2

We continue our series investigating great songs which started life as poems.

Duration: 00:56:35 | Date: 3 November, 2019

The Singing Word 1

We begin a series investigating what happens when poetry is set to music, becoming folk song. Subtitled Poems:Sung, we take our title from Barry Mitcalfe's seminal work on Māori poetry.

Duration: 00:56:04 | Date: 27 October, 2019

Mix Tape 5

A set of really good songs and instrumentals we've come across and haven’t been able to fit into a programme until now. And we remember Mike Seeger (1933-2009)

Duration: 00:59:28 | Date: 20 October, 2019


Some fab artists are coming to NZ now and soon. We take a look and have a listen.

Duration: 00:58:53 | Date: 13 October, 2019

John Cohen

We celebrate the life and work of the founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers whose contribution to the revival of American vernacular music has been so important. The NY musician, photographer, filmmaker, collector and ethnomusicologist died recently, aged 87.

Duration: 00:54:27 | Date: 6 October, 2019

Our Native Daughters

Four important women of colour reclaim the banjo for the African American folk tradition, and turn in a powerful set

Duration: 00:58:26 | Date: 22 September, 2019

Tom Rush

Tom Rush's impact on the American music scene has been profound. He helped shape the folk revival in the '60s and the renaissance of the '80s and '90s

Duration: 00:57:54 | Date: 15 September, 2019

Te Wiki O Te Reo Maori

Duration: 00:57:21 | Date: 8 September, 2019

15 Beautiful Folk Songs

We put together a personal collection of the most beautiful folk melodies - traditional and contemporary. Send us a list of your own favourites, for a second show in the future.

Duration: 00:58:19 | Date: 1 September, 2019

Blues With a Difference

The world's most versatile musical form lends itself to songs both sad and funny, and sometimes quite blue.

Duration: 00:52:37 | Date: 25 August, 2019

Boucher and McNeill

Gillian Boucher, fiddler, and Bob McNeill, singer and guitarist, have formed a folk duo well worth listening to, and are touring in anticipation of the release of a new album.

Duration: 00:59:14 | Date: 18 August, 2019

Mix Tape 4

A set of really good songs and instrumentals we've come across and haven’t been able to fit into a programme until now. And we remember Mike Seeger (1933-2009)

Duration: 00:58:22 | Date: 11 August, 2019


Duration: 00:57:28 | Date: 4 August, 2019

Our 250th

To mark the 250th episode of The Folk Music Hour on ART, David invites you to indulge him and enjoy a selection of contemporary folk song writing that he has enjoyed over the years.

Duration: 00:58:12 | Date: 28 July, 2019

Peter Cape

We're still playing NZ folk, and celebrating here the work of the great originator of Kiwiana, Peter Cape.

Duration: 00:49:19 | Date: 21 July, 2019


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

Baltic 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