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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.

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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

Season's Greetings

Our Holiday Season show! Wishing you happy holidays and happy trails, we present some great songs for the season. See you next year!

Duration: 00:53:57 | Date: 19 December, 2021

The Demon Drink

As society wrestles with the pleasures and dangers of alcohol this festive season, Folk songs have plenty to say on the subject.

Duration: 00:53:57 | Date: 12 December, 2021

The Lost Words: Spell Songs

A programme of beautiful music and song and natural sounds with an environmental theme and an extraordinary reach.

Duration: 00:56:41 | Date: 5 December, 2021

Nick Drake

Nearly 50 years after his death, the singer and guitarist’s songs still have a cult following.

Duration: 00:58:10 | Date: 28 November, 2021

Dark as a Dungeon

Near the anniversary of the Pike River tragedy, we play some folk and country songs about Mining and the disasters it has seen.

Duration: 00:59:18 | Date: 18 November, 2021

Flowers of Scotland

We play a range of excellent folk artists who are, in a sense, the flowers of Scotland.

Duration: 00:56:30 | Date: 14 December, 2021

Joni Mitchell

In honour of Joni’s 78th birthday on Nov 7th, we play some previously unreleased performances from her formative years.

Duration: 00:55:24 | Date: 7 November, 2021


Celebrating our 350th show, a playlist of favourites.

Duration: 00:59:50 | Date: 31 October, 2021

Labour Day

This Labour Weekend, let’s reflect on those who’ve sacrificed their lives for the working class struggle through the songs that tell their stories.

Duration: 00:58:50 | Date: 24 October, 2021

Katherine Priddy

The Birmingham-based singer and writer is at the top of the official UK Folk Charts and is winning awards, and listeners.

Duration: 00:56:02 | Date: 17 October, 2021


Described as the finest young Scottish folk band around, these musicians are really enjoyable

Duration: 00:57:33 | Date: 10 October, 2021

Mark Laurent

One of NZ’s finest singer-songwriters, Mark has released a best-of, making a baker’s dozen of albums of his original work, with fine instrumental and vocal performances.

Duration: 00:56:55 | Date: 3 October, 2021

All Folked Up

What happens when popular songs appeal to folk artists who are moved to give them completely new arrangements.

Duration: 00:55:57 | Date: 26 September, 2021

Bruce Cockburn

The brilliant Canadian songwriter has a great repertoire of guitar instrumentals.

Duration: 00:57:05 | Date: 19 September, 2021

Te Wiki o te reo Maori

We feature the folk music of the tangata whenua, with the sounds of taonga puoro - singing treasures.

Duration: 00:51:05 | Date: 12 September, 2021

Mainly Acoustic

Apart from some subtle background textures, these artists write and record acoustic music.

Duration: 00:58:29 | Date: 5 September, 2021


We put together a show of songs for older folks - both poignant and funny.

Duration: 00:57:59 | Date: 29 August, 2021

Vikki Clayton Part 2

We continue our story of the English folk artist and trace her NZ journey.

Duration: 00:57:46 | Date: 22 August, 2021

Vikki Clayton Part 1

The UK ex-pat has an impressive discography of traditional and contemporary folk, with some fine original songwriting.

Duration: 00:58:11 | Date: 15 August, 2021

Mixtape 8

Another eclectic mix of music from four continents.

Duration: 00:56:44 | Date: 8 August, 2021

Nordic Folk

We’re biased towards Anglo-American folk, but our archive has a lot of music in languages other than English. This programme has some superb music from Scandinavia.

Duration: 00:56:34 | Date: 1 August, 2021

Young Old Timey

Old-timey music is attracting young players globally - we feature two fiddlers, a Canadian and a Kiwi, who play it brilliantly.

Duration: 00:59:30 | Date: 25 July, 2021

Mississippi John Hurt

We play the songs of this significant blues artist whose recordings have recently been remastered.

Duration: 00:59:15 | Date: 18 July, 2021


The phenomenon of Wellerman inspires us to choose folk songs about the seafaring life.

Duration: 00:52:31 | Date: 11 July, 2021

Fay Hield

A great performer, and a senior lecturer at Sheffield University, Fay has a super repertoire and some excellent musicians, live, and in the studio.

Duration: 00:58:04 | Date: 4 July, 2021

The Roots of Modern Folk

Davey looks at the moments where folk evolved into the singer-songwriters who brought us into the present day.

Duration: 00:56:39 | Date: 27 June, 2021

Sam Lee

A specialist in traditional song works some magic with his astonishing arrangements.

Duration: 00:53:26 | Date: 20 June, 2021

Hard Times

Life is tough for many in NZ these days, but the folk tradition reveals that hard times have always been with us.

Duration: 00:57:07 | Date: 13 June, 2021

NZ Mixed Tape 2

We wrap up our NZMM series for 2021 with tracks from those who have kindly shared their music with the Folk Music Hour.

Duration: 00:57:07 | Date: 6 June, 2021

Jacquie Walters

In our third NZMM program with a Christchurch focus, Jacquie Walters sings her original songs.

Duration: 00:58:52 | Date: 30 May, 2021


The Christchurch folk band performed exciting live shows, and is remembered in this special feature.

Duration: 00:54:18 | Date: 23 May, 2021

Emeralds and Greenstone

Our NZ Music Month has a Christchurch focus this year; first up is a bicultural folk group blending Celtic and Maori sounds.

Duration: 00:45:33 | Date: 16 May, 2021

Women Folk

We continue NZ Music Month with an all-Kiwi programme of women folk artists.

Duration: 00:52:43 | Date: 9 May, 2021

NZ Music Mixtape

We get NZ Music Month underway, playing a variety of NZ artists.

Duration: 00:56:10 | Date: 2 May, 2021


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