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The Folk Music Hour

David Calder presents the music he loves in The Folk Music Hour.

Airing time: 12pm Sunday, Replays 7:30pm Thursday

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Almost all music has a folk origin: blues, jazz, rock and even some classical. As Big Bill Broonzy famously said: all songs are folk songs - 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 performed in Europe and the UK in the 70s, and recorded original music for NZ film and television. He dabbled in folk rock and pop in California in the 80s while teaching kids to sing. In London in the 90s he learned to help special needs children to read.

Now retired and no longer performing, he is free to pursue any of the musical paths he loves: song-writing, tuition - guitar, piano, banjo, mandolin, autoharp, dulcimer, even bass - and he works to record his original songs, such as

A long-standing enthusiast for NZ’s own folk music, David also still loves US old-time music, nurtured since Doc Watson LPs first made it to these shores, and explores the folk tradition of the British and Irish isles. He is a fan of World Music and fiercely proud of WOMAD Taranaki. A natural entertainer since his debut on radio aged six, David thinks radio is the perfect performance medium and now has an extensive archive of programmes.


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Mixtape 9

We launch into another folkin' good year, with more variety than you can shake a stick at, in our 9th mixtape.

Duration: 00:59:40 | Date: 16 January, 2022

Blues and More

Every year, around Martin Luther King Day, a US public holiday, we feature the kind of music we think he would’ve enjoyed, and hope you will, too.

Duration: 00:57:05 | Date: 9 January, 2022

Sandy Denny

We begin every year with our tribute to Sandy Denny, near her birthdate of 6th Jan. For 2022 we play her unreleased demos.

Duration: 00:58:28 | Date: 2 January, 2022

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 November, 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: 00:53:05 | 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