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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 

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

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