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The Folk Music Hour: Past Episodes 2021

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 2020

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


A programme of songs of war and peace with a particular NZ resonance.

Duration: 00:58:41 | Date: 25 April, 2021

Country Folk

Davey takes us into the world of country-folk music.

Duration: 00:53:39 | Date: 18 April, 2021

Martin Carthy

The veteran performer of English folk song turns 80 this year, and at the Folk Music Hour we raise our glasses and toast his good health.

Duration: 00:57:48 | Date: 11 April, 2021

Pop Grass

What happens when bluegrass bands let their hair down and play pop songs? Some pickin’ and a-grinnin’ and a lot of fun.

Duration: 00:56:08 | Date: 4 April, 2021

Kitty Macfarlane

The young Somerset folk artist is making waves with some original songs and striking arrangements of traditional ones.

Duration: 00:57:24 | Date: 28 March, 2021

Luckily Stranded

NZ is not a bad place to be marooned these days. We feature English new-folk duo Good Habits.

Duration: 00:54:48 | Date: 21 March, 2021

Irish Folk

St Patrick’s Day on March 17 became the Irish National Day in 1903. An all-Irish programme to play on the day - sláinte!

Duration: 00:58:16 | Date: 14 March, 2021

Phil Ochs

An investigation of, and tribute to, the contemporary folk writer and singer who was the conscience of America in the 60s and 70s, and played in NZ, too.

Duration: 00:58:00 | Date: 7 March, 2021

Virtual WOMAD

In the absence of Womad 21, a feast of acoustic music from Africa gives us a stay-at-home Womad for these anxious times.

Duration: 00:56:00 | Date: 28 February, 2021


A new biography reveals a good deal about how Canada’s troubadour got his start.

Duration: 00:56:03 | Date: 21 February, 2021

Mixtape 7

Davey’s holiday listening makes for an exciting collection.

Duration: 00:58:04 | Date: 14 February, 2021

Double Bill: Reid and Ruins

We look forward to a national tour featuring NZ songwriters Nadia Reid and Tiny Ruins.

Duration: 00:57:24 | Date: 7 February, 2021

Colleen Trenwith

Colleen Trenwith 1946-2021
A NZ folk and bluegrass legend has died peacefully, surrounded by her family.

Duration: 00:40:36 | Date: 31 January, 2021

Pete Seeger

Our year always gets underway with a salute to the singer who kickstarted the post-war folk revival.

Duration: 00:58:45 | Date: 24 January, 2021


Each year we observe the US national holiday by playing some great African American folk songs.

Duration: 00:57:13 | Date: 10 January, 2021

Sandy Denny

Alexandra Elene MacLean Denny was an English singer-songwriter who was lead singer of the British folk rock band Fairport Convention. She has been described as "the pre-eminent British folk rock singer".

Duration: 00:57:33 | Date: 3 January, 2021

Seasons Greetings

Our end-of-year show features Yuletide, Christmas and New Year’s Eve music, traditional and contemporary. We wish our listeners the happiest of holidays.

Duration: 00:50:34 | Date: 13 January, 2021