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.

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Latest News

Programme Set Updated 21/07/2021

Latest News Image – David Crosby – (Copyright – Anna Webber)
Lady Psychiatrist’s Booth – (Copyright – Hemifran}
Latest Show Image –  David Crosby FOR FREE Album Cover – (Copyright – Crosby – Painted by Joan Baez )

WHITHERWARD’S lead singer and its occasional violinist joined forces with the music director of a hit TV show in a bid to offset months of cancelled concerts and find a creative focus during the rigours of the Covid lockdown.

The result is Lady Psychiatrist’s Booth, harnessing the combined Americana forces of Ashley E Norton, Stephanie Groot and Laura Hall, of Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Off-the-wall might be a first reaction to the outcome in an EP which includes a Portishead cover but works for Folkal Point as it also introduces the world to a welcome if creepy alternative to Happy Birthday To You.
Ash reveals that Birthday Suit was originally written to sing at live shows where she became exhausted with constant requests for the traditional if hackneyed anthem.
“So I decided to write my own damn birthday song”, she says, admitting with a hint of relish: “Unfortunately, it leaves most audiences quite uncomfortable when directed at them. But is a hell of a lot of fun”.
The trio’s name, you may not be entirely surprised to learn comes from an actual booth Ash and Stephanie literally stumbled into at a bar in San Francisco. Where else, you might wonder.
Meanwhile, the legendary David Crosby (does he really need any inroduction?) also features on this week’s playlist with the title track of his latest album For Free – released tomorrow, a month ahead of his 80th birthday.
“Joni’s the greatest living singer/songwriter, and For Free is one of her simplest,” notes Crosby, who’s accompanied by the multi- Grammy Award-winning Sarah Jarosz on a classic he’s returned to many times over the years.
“It’s one of my favourite songs because I love what it says about the spirit of music and what compels you to play”.
True to the original, his gorgeously-sparse version unfolds in a delicate piano-based arrangement,with the voices channeling awe and sorrow to spellbinding effect.
Other album collaborators include Michael McDonald and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, plus a number of musicians who joined Crosby on 2017’s Sky Trails, including saxophonist Steve Tavaglione and drummer Steve DiStanislao.
Closer to home is his son James Raymond, a multi-instrumentalist who also served as the album’s producer.
“Can you imagine what it’s like to connect with your son and find out that he’s incredibly talented—a great composer, a great poet, and a really fine songwriter and musician all around?” Crosby asks.
“We’re such good friends and we work so well together, and we’ll each go to any length to create the highest-quality songs we can”.
Talking of friends, the album cover features a portrait of David by Joan Baez.

Latest Show

FOLKAL POINT – 496 – JULY 22 2021 – is curated at Raidió Coharra by producer-presenter Colin MacDonald in rural Co Armagh (*American artistes) and the web page www.folkalpoint.scot sponsored by Robin Campbell – Music

HE WALKED ON – Tim O’Brien* with Jan Fabricius
BREAD & ROSES – Audrey Auld (Australia)
FOR FREE – David Crosby* with Sarah Jarosz
NOWHERE TO GO – The Twangtown Paramours* featuring (lead vocal) MaryBeth Zamer
MOSE RAGER BLUES – instrumental – Merle Travis & Joe Maphis*
THIS BE DEAR TO ME – David Berkeley
VITAMIN – Caroline Marie Brooks (Canada)
DAYS FLY BY – Zach Mac*
SWEET LITTLE SPARROW – Suzie Ungerleider (Canada)
I AIN’T GOT NO HOME – Izzie’s Caravan*
THAT SAME DOG – Edith Wilson* with Little Brother Montgomery* and the State Street Swingers: Leroi Nabors (trumpet), Preston Jackson (trombone), Oliver Alcorn (clarinet), Ikey Robinson (banjo), Ed Wilkinson (bass) and Red Saunders drums)
TOGETHER AGAIN – Great Willow* a k a James Combs (guitar/vocal), Erin Hawkins (cello, keys & vocal) and Ed Barguiarena (percussion) plus guest space-lap-steel from I See Hawks In LA’s Paul Lacques, and trumpet  from Berkeley professor Joe Hellerstein
I THREW IT ALL AWAY – Clay Dubose*
DRUNKEN GOODNIGHT – The Lucky Ones (Canada)
SAN ANTONIO ROSE – instrumental – Merle Travis* & Joe Maphis
DARKNESS OF THE BAR – Pilgim* featuring Beau Roberson
DO NOT CRY FOR ME – Gráinne Duffy (Eire)
STIR ALL NIGHT – Robert J Hunter (Albion/Alderney)
HOME – Heath Cullen (Australia)
TRUE ANGER – The Marriage, a k a Kirsten Adamson (Scotia) and Dave Burn (Albion)
GREEN – Love On Drugs (Drugs (Konungariket Sverige) featuring Thomas Pontén
JOSEPH JOSEPH – Meschiya Lake* & The Little Big Horns
PROMISED LAND – Robert Wagner*
I WILL TELL JESUS YOU SAID HELLO – See Your Shadow* featuring Michael Coleman
BIRTHDAY SUIT – Lady Psychiatrist’s Booth,* a k a Ashley E Norton and Stephanie Groot of Whitherward with Laura Hall (music director of TV’s Whose Line is It Anyway?)
ROMANCER – Sherman Downey (Canada)
HAPPY PLACE – Louise Cappi*
KUMMITÄDIN VALSSI (Godmother’s Waltz) – instrumental – Sarah-Jane Summers (Scotia) and Juhani Silvola (Suomen tasavalta)


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.

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