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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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More Screen Folk

It's amazing how many filmmakers illustrate their themes with folk music.

Duration: 00:58:16 | Date: 21 July, 2024

Woody Guthrie Day

July 14th is the National Day of France, and the birthdate of Woody Guthrie, whose lyrics spoke of freedom and human rights

Duration: 00:58:06 | Date: 14 July, 2024

Pop Goes Folk

In which we see the folk artist sounding pop, and the pop artist going folk.

Duration: 00:58:20 | Date: 7 July, 2024

Runs in the Family

We often think of a talent as ‘running in the family’. A playlist of folk parents and children making music.

Duration: 00:57:11 | Date: 30 June, 2024

Joan Baez

The veteran folk artist and activist, so influential in NZ too, has announced her retirement.

Duration: 0:58:27 | Date: 23 June, 2024

Juneteenth (2023)

Our first programme observing President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.

Duration: 00:58:25 | Date: 16 June, 2024

Dave Jordan

The NZ musician Dave Jordan was constantly inventive, and perhaps the first Kiwi to make a living writing songs.

Duration: 00:58:09 | Date: 9 June, 2024

Kiwi Playlist 4

Yet more folk in our fourth playlist of the season

Duration: 00:58:30 | Date: 2 June, 2024

Kiwi Playlist 3

During May every year, NZ Music Month, we play only NZ songs and artists. Send us your songs to share.

Duration: 00:58:19 | Date: 26 May, 2024

Kiwi Playlist 2

More NZ folk and Kiwiana for NZ Music Month, 2024.

Duration: 00:58:23 | Date: 19 May, 2024

Adam McGrath

The South Island folk singer and storyteller is becoming something of a NZ legend, and a FMH feature for NZM Month

Duration: 0:58:14 | Date: 12 May, 2024

Kiwi Playlist 1

We get behind NZ Music Month in May every year, sharing Kiwi folk artists and the NZ folk heritage.

Duration: 00:57:54 | Date: 4 May, 2024

Taranaki Folk

NZ folk and Kiwiana specialist Mike Harding has made a career singing our own folk songs and launches our NZ Music Month in Taranaki.

Duration: 00:58:10 | Date: 28 April, 2024

Ralph McTell

The English contemporary folk artist is the perfect modern troubadour.

Duration: 00:58:18 | Date: 21 April, 2024

EuroFolk at WOMAD

Two outstanding acts at Womad ‘24 make for a great double bill.

Duration: 00:58:28 | Date: 14 April, 2024

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