Folkal Point

with Colin MacDonald


Colin Macdonald

FOLKAL POINT – musical alternatives sans frontieres from folk to rock with myriad cute other stuff slipped in along the way – offers innovative artistry to discerning listeners around the world. This innovative radio programme’s stripped-down format, quixotic, informed, an unbiased spotlight on originality and creativity, steadfastly spurns here-today-gone-tomorrow fads, and just as resolutely ignores trivia. More than four decades since first airing on nascent Radio Clyde, this well-regarded, now widely syndicated two-hour weekly programme is still curated and presented globally by its self-effacing Scottish creator *. Always thoughtful, often quirky, sometimes provocative, enigmatic even, yet always fiercely resistant to barriers and contrived labels, Folkal Point remains laid back, arguably a tad eccentric but above all still a joyously maverick celebration for all on this fragile blue planet who value the glorious confluence of meaningful words and music in their lives.

* Colin MacDonald’s media career, at home in Scotland, London and abroad (from both ends of the Mediterranean to the South Atlantic), has also embraced extensive journalism plus TV and film work – both on and off camera. Now, some seven decades along the road least travelled, he’s “most at ease with a microphone and plenty of great music to share”.

Tried-and-tested since 1974, the Folkal Point format – still essentially folk to rock –  is quixotic, informed,  unbiased and treats music, musicians and listeners seriously.  Veteran Scots producer-presenter Colin MacDonald brings a lifetime’s media experience at home and abroad to bear. “It’s not what I say but what I play that matters,  so you should really listen carefully to the words”, he urges.

Back to top

Latest News

Programme Set Updated 05/05/2021

Latest News Image – LEFTOVER SALMON – (Copyright Leftover Salmon)
Latest Show Image – WAKE OF THE FLOOD 1973 (sleeve detail) – (Design/Copyright Rick Griffin)

FOR those among us who never quite recovered from the demise of the Grateful Dead, after Jerry Garcia died in the mid 90s, Leftover Salmon could reasonably claim – not that it does – to be heir apparent to the world’s greatest touring band.

The juggernaut that became The Dead emerged from the San Francisco Bay area in 1965 with Jerome Garcia (lead guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (rhythm guitar, vocals), Ron Pigpen McKernan (keyboards, harmonica, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals), and Bill Kreutzmann (drums).

They had variously played in other Palo Alto bands including Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions and the Warlocks. Lesh was last member to join the Warlocks before they became the Grateful Dead.

He succeeded Dana Morgan Jr., who had played bass for a few gigs. Drummer Mickey Hart and non-performing lyricist Robert Hunter joined in 1967.

All contributed to creation of an eclectic style fusing elements of rock, folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, blues, gospel, and psychedelic rock which attracted a devoted fan base: Deadheads who bought tens of millions of records.

There’s an uncanny parallel with both the musical direction and longevity of  Colorado-based Leftover Salmon now 32 years into a roller-coaster ride with founder members Vince Herman and Drew Emmitt still at the helm, after meeting in 1985 in Boulder at  a show for Emmitt’s then-group, the Left Hand String Band.

They went on to fashion a forward thinking, progressive bluegrass band that dared add drums to the mix and was equally unafraid to stir in any number of highly-combustible styles into an ever-evolving weirdly-unique sound.

Now the current line-up (pictured) of the band (both longest-lasting, and strongest to date) is powered by banjo whiz Andy Thorn and driven by the steady rhythm section of bassist Greg Garrison and drummer Alwyn Robinson.

And their latest album – the Brand New Good Old Days – is out this week and you can hear the title track on Folkal Point.  For good measure, the programme also dusts down the Grateful Dead’s 1973’s vinyl Wake Of The Flood album to revisit Stella Blue.

Latest Show

FOLKAL POINT – 485 – MAY 6 2021 – is curated by producer-presenter Colin MacDonald at Raidió Coharra in rural Co Armagh (*American artistes) and the web page www.folkalpoint.scot sponsored by Robin Campbell – Music

WHAT WE SAW – Matt Harlan*
WALKS LIKE A DUCK – Twangtown Paramours* (MaryBeth Zamer and Mike Leigh
LOVELESS TOWN – Paul Handyside (Albion) with Dave Porthouse (double bass and melodeon) and Rob Tickell (guitar and dobro)
YOU ASKED ME TO – Shannon McNally*
HE WALKED ALL THE WAY HOME – Blue Highway* featuring (lead vocal and fiddle) Shawn Lane and Rob Ickes (dobro)
WHAT IF MY POCKETS WERE EMPTY? – Paul Walker (Albion) and Karen Pfeiffer (Albion/Deutschland)
THE ARROWS AND THE ARMOUR – Chris Cleverley (Albion)
FACT OF LIFE – 12th Day (Scotia) featuring Catriona Price(violin/vocals) and Esther Swift (harp/vocals)
I FEEL FINE – Tashaki Miyaki*
MEN OF THE ASHES – John Leahy (Eire)
CAPTIVITY REELS – instrumental – An Lar(Confoederatio Helvetica)
STELLA BLUE – The Grateful Dead*
BRAND NEW GOOD OLD DAYS – Leftover Salmon* (latest line-up pictured above)
WONDERFUL FANTASY – Liesbeth Wuyts and Geert Van de Meutter (Royaume de Belgique)
THE LAND OF FREEDOM – Estelle California (*/France)
HOUSE OF GOLD – Larry Sparks* with John Rigsby (harmonica)
DAYS IN BLANKETS – Amanda (Pearl) Shires*
LEFT UNSUNG – Leftover Salmon*
THE WRONG SIDE – Tara Nevins*
HIDING HOME – Nouhi’s Nomad*/جمهوری اسلامی ایران (Persian)Jomhuri-ye Eslāmi-ye Irān
A DAISY A DAY – Wilma Lee Cooper* & The Clinch Mountain Clan*
NOTHING COULD GROW THERE – Ian Roland (Albion) & The Subtown Set
IF I’M GONNA BE LONELY – Price Sisters* (twins Lauren and Leanna)
SINK OR SWIM – Ry Cavanaugh*
A CLASSICAL PRELUDE – instrumental – Brady Novotny*


FOLKAL POINT, now in its 48th year, is broadcast simultaneously (Thursdays, 10pm – midnight)  across the Cowal Peninsula via Dunoon Community Radio – 97.4 FM and online*, by MKB Independent Radio online from Scotland to the world, from Dunfermline to West Fife online by Radio West Fife, across Renfrewshire by Paisley FM107.5, (with DAB+ to greater Glasgow),  242 Radio online “from Edinburgh to the world” and Two Lochs Radio (Wester Ross) on 106 FM, 106.6 FM and online.

Folkal Point timeshifts on Crystal FM 107.4 from Penicuik, serving south-west Midlothian (Thursdays,11pm – 1am) with a 10.00am – midday Friday repeat, then Saturdays (10pm – midnight) on HBS in Glasgow and Paisley.

The programme is also re-transmitted (globally!) online three times a week on its Essential Channel by Blues and Roots Radio from Canada.

242 Radio from ‘Edinburgh to the world’ airs a Friday repeat from midday, there’s also a Friday airing online from 2pm on MKB Independent Radio, while Fifers have a second chance on Sunday to catch the programme on Radio West Fife (9-11pm) and on DCR across the Cowal Peninsula between 10.00pm and midnight.

Back to top


Back to top