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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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Richard and Linda Thompson

The ‘golden couple’ of British folk rock gave us some songs still celebrated and performed to this day.

Duration: 00:58:19 | Date: 4 June, 2023

All Kiwi Folk Too

We wrap up another NZ Music Month with a selection of Kiwi folk performers, showing the extraordinary variety of our own musicians.

Duration: 00:58:14 | Date: 28 May, 2023

All Kiwi-Folk

Our third all-Kiwi show for NZ Music Month, with some exciting news for lovers of our own folk songs

Duration: 00:56:13 | Date: 21 May, 2023

North Island Folk

Our second collection of all-Kiwi folk for 2023, with a North Island focus.

Duration: 58:6 | Date: 14 May, 2023

South Island Folk

We launch our NZ Music Month programmes with folk artists from the South Island.

Duration: 00:58:15 | Date: 7 May, 2023

Folk and All That Jazz

We put the case that folk blues and ballads are the origins of the music we call jazz, which in essence is “folk by other means”.

Duration: 00:57:19 | Date: 30 April, 2023


The war against Napoleon in the late 18th & early 19th century caused untold misery but left us with some extraordinary folk songs.

Duration: 00:58:22 | Date: 23 April, 2023

The American Civil War

162 years after the April start of the American Civil War, the enmity remains, but so does a body of poignant folk songs.

Duration: 00:58:14 | Date: 16 April, 2023

Doc Watson

The master of the acoustic guitar will delight generations to come with his interpretations of American folk music.

Duration: 00:58:14 | Date: 9 April, 2023

Our WoReview

The exciting return of Womad to New Plymouth’s Brooklands Park led to some great musical encounters.

Duration: 00:58:17 | Date: 2 April, 2023

Shawn Colvin

The influential singer has roots in the folk revival and has taken songwriting to new heights.

Duration: 00:57:38 | Date: 26 March, 2023

Country Folk Too

Another look at the place where folk and country meet.

Duration: 00:58:24 | Date: 19 March, 2023

Folk and Feminism Part 2

We continue the theme of women’s rights traced through folk and contemporary songs, marking Int’l Women’s Day

Duration: 00:58:13 | Date: 12 March, 2023

Folk and Feminism Part 1

Throughout the struggle for the rights of women, folk songs have been telling the truth. A programme for International Women’s Day

Duration: 00:58:18 | Date: 5 March, 2023

The Emerald Isle

Another programme of musical riches from Ireland. Simply grand!

Duration: 00:58:17 | Date: 26 February, 2023

Billy Bragg

The Londoner has excelled for years in singing gutsy folk material with an electric edge.

Duration: 00:58:17 | Date: 19 February, 2023

Woverview 2023 Part 2

A further look at the delights in store for Womadders coming to New Plymouth, March 17-19th.

Duration: 00:58:30 | Date: 12 February, 2023

Woverview 2023 Part 1

WOMAD is back, and we’re playing some of the music, hoping you’ll come to sunny New Plymouth in March.

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

Pete Seeger 2023

Our annual Pete Seeger special looks at the songs he sang promoting freedom & civil rights.

Duration: 00:58:14 | Date: 29 January, 2023

Burns Night

Every January 25th, the world celebrates the birthday of the Scottish poet and songwriter Robert Burns, born in 1759.

Duration: 00:58:16 | Date: 22 January, 2023

Folk and Racism

Society honours its living conformists and its dead trouble-makers. A special programme of African American folk for Martin Luther King Day.

Duration: 00:58:16 | Date: 15 January, 2023

Harps Down Under

A double bill of Australian Harpers introduces a Harp Festival in Auckland on Waitangi Weekend.

Duration: 00:57:37 | Date: 8 January, 2023

Sandy Denny

Our year always begins with Sandy, whose birthdate is January 6th. This year, some of the many covers of her songs by other artists.

Duration: 00:58:14 | Date: 1 January, 2023

The Festive Season 2022

You can listen on 104.4FM, stream, or podcast our Christmas/New Year programme throughout the season. Thank you for following the Folk Music Hour. Happy Holidays!

Duration: 00:58:11 | Date: 18 December, 2022


A terrific folk festival in South australia is a colourful and laid back glimpse into the broad range of Aussie folk talent.

Duration: 00:58:22 | Date: 11 December, 2022