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The Folk Music Hour: Past Episodes 2020

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 here to explore current episodes 

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Click here to explore past episodes from 2022

Click here to explore past episodes from 2021

Click here to explore past episodes from 2019 

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

Sandy Denny

Around the time of her birthday, we honor Sandy every year. For 2020, we have a close listen to her masterpiece Who Knows Where The Time Goes.

Duration: 00:58:37 | Date: 5 January, 2020

Shona Laing

Our greatest female pop rock hitmaker has a strong voice, good fingerpicking and some genuine folk roots.

Duration: 00:58:23 | Date: 20 December, 2020

Aoife O'Donovan

The Irish-American songwriter and folk artist has an impressive catalogue, with lots of collaborations.

Duration: 00:57:54 | Date: 6 December, 2020

Sam Amidon

A folk artist with NuFolk arrangements, Sam hails from Vermont, and he’s breathing new life into the old songs.

Duration: 00:55:50 | Date: 29 November, 2020

Blind Folk

We listen to some influential musicians who have amazed us with their playing and singing despite their visual impairment.

Duration: 00:57:18 | Date: 15 November, 2020

Gillian Welch

With her partner David Rawlings, Gillian has built a repertoire that sits perfectly at the place where folk song meets country music.

Duration: 00:58:31 | Date: 22 November, 2020

Paul Metsers

An expat Kiwi has become one of the UK’s most loved songwriters.

Duration: 01:01:04 | Date: 8 November, 2020

Joni at 77

Around her 77th birthday, we trace Joni Mitchell’s artistic life, realising an hour can hardly hope to cover this musician’s brilliant work.

Duration: 00:59:41 | Date: ,

Rainbow Folk

We play the songs of artists who have blazed a trail for rainbow community rights just by being themselves.

Duration: 00:55:44 | Date: 25 October, 2020

Jon Hooker

The Christchurch guitarist Jon Hooker has a self-released solo album that makes some fingerpickin’ good listening.

Duration: 00:54:13 | Date: 18 October, 2020


The Irish group Dervish celebrate 30 years of music with a great collection of Irish folk songs

Duration: 00:58:23 | Date: 11 October, 2020

Nic Jones

We explore the great playing and rich repertoire of the English folk singer, on whom the English Folk Dance and Song Society conferred its Golden Badge.

Duration: 00:58:13 | Date: 4 October, 2020


Davey cruises down a musical memory lane for his 300th show

Duration: 00:56:53 | Date: 27 September, 2020

The Boundary Riders

We play Rachel Dawick’s extraordinary folk drama which dips into 19th century NZ with a new take on the stories of our past.

Duration: 00:59:08 | Date: 20 September, 2020

Te Wiki O Te Reo Maaori

Every year we play a selection of folk and acoustic music by artists performed for the most part in te reo

Duration: 00:56:45 | Date: 13 September, 2020

Modern Folk - Part 2

Duration: 00:56:19 | Date: 6 September, 2020

Modern Folk Part 1

For nearly a century, musicians have been reinventing the folk tradition, or writing songs with one foot firmly planted in that tradition and yet one eye clearly turned towards the future.

Duration: 00:58:19 | Date: 30 August, 2020

Shirley Collins MBE

In her 80s, the First Lady of Anglo-American folk has surprised us all after a long silence with two new albums.

Duration: 00:56:39 | Date: 23 August, 2020

The Modern Griot

The bardic tradition of the griots of West Africa has entered a new phase, captivating lovers of world folk music, young and old.

Duration: 00:59:41 | Date: 16 August, 2020

Boucher & 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: 00:57:15 | Date: 9 August, 2020

Live Folk

Kiwis are getting out and about, and so are musicians. Going to live music has always been special the world over, with audience rapport inspiring great performances

Duration: 00:57:39 | Date: 2 August, 2020

Diarmuid Cahill

An Irish singer and songwriter who practised medicine and chased his music in New Plymouth has an album of originals, made in Ireland with some excellent musicians.

Duration: 00:51:44 | Date: 26 July, 2020

Kiwi Bluesmen

We continue our Made In NZ theme with trad and original performances from eight blues exponents, from the 70s to modern times

Duration: 00:56:00 | Date: 19 July, 2020

Antipodean Serenaders

Continuing an all NZ artists’ July, we delight in the nearly century-old music played by three NZers who love old-timey and ragtime...

Duration: 00:58:57 | Date: 12 July, 2020

The Titirangi Folk Club

Since the virus did for NZMMonth, we’re having another month of NZ folk in July, starting with performances from the vigorous folk club in Western Auckland...

Duration: 00:56:01 | Date: 5 July, 2020

Mixtape 7

A pot pourri of songs of all shapes and sizes heard during the big Rahui and shared with the world

Duration: 00:56:50 | Date: 28 June, 2020

Peggy Seeger

The sister of Pete and Mike is no less renowned for her service to the Anglo-American folk tradition and is a good songwriter, too. She is now an honorary Kiwi, and we wish her a happy birthday with a special programme.

Duration: 00:57:24 | Date: 21 June, 2020

Black Lives Matter

With the world in turmoil because of racism and injustice, we explore the incomparably rich heritage of black folk song and music, without which popular music as we know it would not exist.

Duration: 00:58:13 | Date: 14 June, 2020

Acoustic Confusion Two

Davey plays the music of some important Kiwi folk artists from the 80s to the present day.

Duration: 00:57:38 | Date: 31 May, 2020

NZ Women Folk

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

Duration: 00:57:41 | Date: 24 May, 2020

NZMM Waiata Tangata

Davey searches for the folk roots of the brilliant repertoire of Māori music in te reo and in English.

Duration: 00:57:05 | Date: 10 May, 2020

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: 3 May, 2020

Quarantine Mixtape 2

Duration: 00:53:03 | Date: 24 April, 2020

Quarantine Mixtape1

Still working from home, Davey comes up with a varied programme of songs to enjoy during these unusual times.

Duration: 00:49:34 | Date: 12 April, 2020

Isolation Blues

As NZ goes into lockdown, musicians everywhere are making music from home, their song titles reflecting, by and large cheerfully, their isolation blues.

Duration: 00:58:07 | Date: 5 April, 2020


Folk songs have long been a great way of telling life stories in miniature - from trad to modern, from the famous to the ordinary citizen.

Duration: 00:54:56 | Date: 19 March, 2020

Kate Wolf

The beloved songwriter sings her easy listening country folk songs on a special Folk Music Hour for Women's Day.

Duration: 00:59:06 | Date: 15 March, 2020


The songs associated with war have always been creative. We mark the beginning of the US war 55 years ago.

Duration: 00:57:21 | Date: 8 March, 2020

Folk at WOMAD

We play some of the acoustic and folkier acts coming to WOMAD in New Plymouth in March

Duration: 00:58:09 | Date: 1 March, 2020

Laura Marling

The popular UK songwriter and singer is a keenly anticipated guest at WOMAD in March.

Duration: 00:58:04 | Date: 23 February, 2020

Black History Month

We observe Black History Month with folk blues from four artists who have done so much to give acoustic blues a global reach. Indeed, three of them have toured NZ and delighted audiences here.

Duration: 00:58:09 | Date: 16 February, 2020

Smith and McClennan

Scot Emily Smith and Kiwi Jamie McClennan, partners in life and music, have a debut duo album out with some very good originals.

Duration: 00:58:51 | Date: 9 February, 2020


Duration: 00:57:18 | Date: 2 February, 2020

Pete Seeger 1919-2014

Our annual tribute to the doyen of folk entertainers is a live concert from his golden age, not unlike his Auckland Town Hall performance in the mid-60s.

Duration: 00:58:52 | Date: 26 January, 2020

Mixtape 6

We launch into 2020 with a mixture of great singing and playing, including stuff Davey heard in the holidays.

Duration: 00:56:48 | Date: 19 January, 2020

Summer Folk

There's heaps of great folk music up and down the country this summer. Here's a taste of some of these talented visitors.

Duration: 00:54:53 | Date: 12 January, 2020

Our Native Daughters

Four important women of colour reclaim the banjo for the African American folk tradition, and turn in a powerful set. This episode played earlier in 2019 and is repeated now in observation of Martin Luther King Day.

Duration: 00:58:26 | Date: 5 January, 2020