Listen Now!

The Folk Music Hour

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

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

To support the show, please visit:

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.


Click here to explore past episodes from 2023

Click here to explore past episodes from 2022

Click here to explore past episodes from 2021

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



Listen on Apple Podcasts


To download the latest episode: Click on the kiwifruit to go to The Folk Music Hour page on the site:   download this show here

Click on the title of an episode to listen

Country Womenfolk

We are once again somewhere on the musical spectrum where folk and country music connect, with a programme of female artists.

Duration: 00:58:12 | Date: 7 April, 2024

Covers Galore

A fifth programme of musical treats where artists delight in covering the songs of others.

Duration: 00:58:10 | Date: 31 March, 2024

Josh White

Father and son were influential guitarists, balladeers and bluesmen.

Duration: 00:58:12 | Date: 24 March, 2024

Saint Paddy's Day

We help the Irish celebrate their national day with a medley of songs, tunes and humour.

Duration: 00:58:07 | Date: 17 March, 2024

The Folk Grammy

We drill down into the albums nominated for the 2024 Grammy Folk Award.

Duration: 00:58:11 | Date: 10 March, 2024

Mixtape 15

Another playlist of irresistible music, folk and beyond.

Duration: 00:58:19 | Date: 3 March, 2024


Summer runs through the folk tradition and beyond, whether we long for it, love it or wish it weren’t so hot.

Duration: 0:57:44 | Date: 25 February, 2024

Woverview 2024

A month out from Womad 24 we look at the bill of fare, especially the folk music featured in this 21st WOMAD NZ

Duration: 0:58:6 | Date: 18 February, 2024

What I Heard on my Holidays

A playlist of pleasantly surprising tracks discovered during the summer break.

Duration: 00:58:10 | Date: 11 February, 2024

Tom Rush

Veteran singer and guitarist, Tom Rush, turns 83 in 2024, and by way of a tribute we share his early folk and blues recording.

Duration: 00:57:58 | Date: 4 February, 2024

Pete 2024

Our annual Pete Seeger show delights us with his work in the civil rights movement.

Duration: 00:57:33 | Date: 28 January, 2024


A playlist of folk where colour is a significant element.

Duration: 00:58:12 | Date: 21 January, 2024

Black Folk

Around the time of the US national holiday to honour Martin Luther King Jr, we mark the day with music from the rich legacy of African American folk.

Duration: 00:58:12 | Date: 14 January, 2024

Sandy In 2024

We begin another fab year of folk in the usual way, remembering the all-too-short career of Sandy Denny

Duration: 00:58:14 | Date: 7 January, 2024

Season's Greetings

Our end-of-year show included songs old and new for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Cheers.

Duration: 00:57:01 | Date: 17 December, 2023


Four excellent Irish musicians are bringing their folk group, Lankum, to WOMAD in ‘24.

Duration: 00:58:05 | Date: 10 December, 2023


The 21st century shows no signs of tiring of new ways of playing folk.

Duration: 00:58:11 | Date: 3 December, 2023

Christy Moore

Christy Moore has a great record of performance, with original songs that highlight & extend the folk legacy of Ireland.

Duration: 00:58:21 | Date: 26 November, 2023

John Martyn

Since his passing in 2009, the music of the UK folk & experimental artist has come to be appreciated even more widely.

Duration: 00:57:36 | Date: 10 September, 2023

Mixtape 14

Another Mixtape with discoveries we simply must share.

Duration: 58:19 | Date: 19 November, 2023

Joni at 80

Joni Mitchell was born on November 7th, 1943, and we celebrate her 80th.

Duration: 00:58:12 | Date: 12 November, 2023

Songs of Peace

A programme of songs for Parihaka Day, November 5th, with an emphasis on peace and reconciliation.

Duration: 00:58:10 | Date: 5 November, 2023

Our 450th

Our 450th programme. We celebrate with a playlist of our favourite music, folk and beyond.

Duration: 00:58:40 | Date: 29 October, 2023

Emily Portman

The West Country folk singer is winning a following for her solo work as well as her collaborations with others.

Duration: 00:57:49 | Date: 22 October, 2023

The Moon

The beauty of the recent blue supermoon inspires a playlist of songs, folk and beyond.

Duration: 00:58:11 | Date: 15 October, 2023