Folkal Point

with Colin MacDonald


Colin Macdonald

FOLKAL POINT has settled into its hour-long format without obviously outraging either listeners or those loyal radio stations at home and abroad which currently support the long-running programme as it heads, unfussily, towards its 50th anniversary.

Regular listeners were reassured to find that in its now-regular 60-minute slot, weekly focus remains on diverse alternatives from folk to rock by way of all good things between.

Whether often exclusively previewing forthcoming material, highlighting current releases, or recalling often-forgotten gems from decades, genres and performers past, Folkal Point always treats music, musicians and listeners seriously.

And the programme remains equally fiercely resistant to barriers, contrived labels and snake-oil peddlers. Curator Colin MacDonald revels in his creation’s quixotic role as a one-off, joyously-maverick champion for all on this fragile blue planet who seek meaningful words and music to orchestrate human existence.

New readers (and listeners) might be surprised to learn that Folkal Point has been around in one form or another for almost half a century since first stumbling half-formed on to the midnight airwaves of nascent Radio Clyde in the first week of January 1974.

What a leap of faith that was for all concerned…

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Latest News

Latest News Image – JOHN MAYALL – (Copyright david gomez photos official)

ON the truly shaky premise that age before beauty should somehow predicate any pecking order, the 88-year-old John Mayall, godfather of British blues, gets a mention ahead of 70-year-old Janis Ian – both of whom are making brand-new music you can hear in this week’s programme.

In her case, The Light At The End Of The Line  (due from Rude Girl Records tomorrow), sees Janis embracing a new milestone: the art of the farewell.

Her first new material in years and possibly her last studio album this disc is a logical bookend to a 58-year career that began with her 1967 self-titled debut.

As the double Grammy Award-winner reflects on years of hits and misses, it’s startling to realise how urgent and out of time her most fearless work remains.

We’re still having the same conversations around race and racism that Ian ignited in 1966’s Society’s Child – her teenage ode to a white woman who brings home a black boyfriend.

It was so incendiary as to be banned from radio and led to death threats and public ridicule that scarred its songwriter until she finally untangled the trauma in therapy.

In our age of social media, 1975’s At Seventeen (from her landmark album Between the Lines) is perhaps more resonant than ever as a meditation on feeling isolated and ostracised.

Cheshire-born Mayall, now California-based, has decided that the risks of Covid alongside his advancing years make global touring a fondly-remembered thing of the past.

But that doesn’t stop the Blues Hall of Fame member continuing to make dynamic and original music (eight of 11 tracks) as his latest album, Talk About That (due from Forty Below Records on January 27) amply testifies.

Joining John (vocals, keyboards, harmonica and guitar), Greg Rzab (bass), Jay Davenport (drums) and Rocky Athas (guitar) is Eagles’ ace, Joe Walsh.

This legendary guitar-player features on The Devil Must Be Laughing and in the process (after what sounds like a chance encounter) achieved a lifetime ambition.

“We got a message that Joe wanted to come by and possibly play on a track or two as a guest,” recalls Mayall.

“Who was I to say no to that idea? So, Joe turned up at noon next day and with only a quick listen, plugged in and we did the song in one take.

“A second song (Cards on the Table) closely followed, and with a smile and a quick photo, Joe was done and on his way. What a kick for all of us that day”.

For Walsh playing on a session with one of his musical heroes was “a bucket-list item since 1970.

“Finally got the chance – and he was the complete gentleman and fine, fine musician I had always hoped he would be.

“When you meet a hero who helped shape your career – it’s a wonderful feeling to find they’re even cooler than you always thought they were”.­­

Latest Show

Latest Show Image JANIS IAN – (Copyright – Lloyd Baggs)

FOLKAL POINT – 522 – JANUARY 20 2022 – is curated at Raidió Coharra by producer-presenter Colin MacDonald in rural Co Armagh (*American artistes) and the web page www.folkalpoint.scot gifted by an old friend Robin Campbell – Music

**********ARMAGH for UK City of Culture 2025**********

Programme Set Updated 19/01/202

SINCE WEDDING BELLS HAVE RUNG – Jeremy Stephens* featuring Ronnie Reno
WHO COULD ASK FOR MORE? – Jude Johnstone*
THE GREAT I AM – Valerie Smith* & The McCrarys
WORDS OF GOD – David Nelson Ostrosser (Canada)
THINKING ON – Linda Moylan (Albion/Eire) with Eamon Gilmore
THE DEVIL MUST BE LAUGHING – John Mayall (Albion) with (guitar) Joe Walsh*
MAKE IT TO THE NIGHT – Hannyta, a k a Hannah Olah (Scotia/ Magyar Népköztársaság)
RADIO FRIEND – Richard Lynch*
DON’T BURY OUR LOVE – Tinsley Ellis*
YOUR TRUE YOU – Tenpenny Gypsy*
PATCHES ON MY HEART – Junior (Harry) Sisk*
EL CUMBANCHERO – instrumental – Cody Kilby* playing guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro and bass


FOLKAL POINT, now in its 49th year, is broadcast simultaneously (Thursdays, 10pm)  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) with a 10.00am – midday Friday repeat, then Saturdays (10pm) 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 (9pm) and on DCR across the Cowal Peninsula between 10.00pm.

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