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The Folk Music Hour

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: 12pm Sunday, Replays 7:30pm Thursday

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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 on the title of an episode to listen

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

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

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: 1 November, 2020

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 EFDSS 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: ,

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: 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: 56:40 | Date: 23 August, 2020