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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

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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NZ Radio Award Certificate


To download an episode: Click on the kiwifruit to go to The Folk Music Hour page on the AIR website:   download this show here

Click on the title of an episode to listen

Te Wiki O Te Reo Maori

Duration: 00:57:21 | Date: 8 September, 2019

15 Beautiful Folk Songs

We put together a personal collection of the most beautiful folk melodies - traditional and contemporary. Send us a list of your own favourites, for a second show in the future.

Duration: 00:58:19 | Date: 1 September, 2019

Blues With A Difference

The world's most versatile musical form lends itself to songs both sad and funny, and sometimes quite blue.

Duration: 00:52:37 | Date: 25 August, 2019

Boucher And McNeill

Gillian Boucher, fiddler, and Bob McNeill, singer and guitarist, have formed a folk duo well worth listening to, and are touring in anticipation of the release of a new album.

Duration: 00:59:14 | Date: 18 August, 2019

Mixtape 4

A set of really good songs and instrumentals we've come across and haven’t been able to fit into a programme until now. And we remember Mike Seeger (1933-2009)

Duration: 00:58:22 | Date: 11 August, 2019


We bookend our three months of NZ folk with a Come All Ye of Kiwiana song. We're astonished as always at the variety of Kiwi talent and send out big ups to the artists who share their music with us.

Duration: 00:57:28 | Date: 4 August, 2019

Our 250th

To mark the 250th episode of The Folk Music Hour on ART, David invites you to indulge him and enjoy a selection of contemporary folk song writing that he has enjoyed over the years.

Duration: 00:58:12 | Date: 28 July, 2019

Peter Cape

We're still playing NZ folk, and celebrating here the work of the great originator of Kiwiana, Peter Cape.

Duration: 00:49:19 | Date: 21 July, 2019


The then-Wellington trio's seminal albums have been remastered onto CD, but they were recorded before the term psych-folk had even been thought of.

Duration: 00:58:10 | Date: 23 June, 2019

Martha Louise

The American-born musician and songwriter has made NZ her home, and can be seen at many venues around greater Auckland singing with her mates.

Duration: 00:58:34 | Date: 16 June, 2019