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A weekly dose of the best in folk, roots and acoustic music.


When the BBC decided they no longer wanted the kind of show I did I was faced with two alternatives: I could either retire ungracefully and go off fly fishing and playing my banjo, or I could carry on making the show, that more than 800,000 people seemed to have liked, in another way. So many friends suggested that I could simply produce my own show and Podcast it, that eventually I set about looking at the possibility. I was already used to working with digital audio (back in the days I used to run a sound studio in Manchester with my good friend Colin Goddard) and I knew that Spike, who looked after all my IT stuff, could sort out a folk show website and the nuts and bolts of streaming a show out into cyberspace.

After that, it was simply a matter of buying the necessary licences, buying space on a server, uprating some of the hardware and software in the studio and settling down to making the show – without incongruous trails and without having to worry about “crashing the pips”. I went a bit mental at first and the show has ended up as a fairly unkempt beast and doesn’t yet know what length it should settle down to – but it will eventually. At the moment I’m letting the “feel” dictate how the show ends up. It’s all about content, not style.

I have been helped mightily by other volunteers who came on board after Spike – Bill Braviner and Dave Lucas (and his guide dog, Jarvis) who now look after the facebook site and the festivals, artists and folk club pages as well as accessibility for this website. Bill and Dave run “Lighting the Landscape” – please click on the link here or the logo at the bottom of the page and go and have a look at the great work they do.

Bryan (Snapper) Ledgard, ace photographer and graphic designer of this parish, is the last of the four volunteers – he works his little fingers to the bone trying to save the website from looking like an accident in a printer’s shop.

All four men (and the dog) are volunteers working for the love of the music. Not my own words but I wear them with pride, “Folk music isn’t something I do – it’s what I am.”

Lots more work to do – but we’re getting there – I think.


A listener wrote in asking how I chose the tracks – here’s what I wrote in reply…

I sit down and look at the shelves of CDs – think about who is on tour, what festivals are coming up etc.

Then I think about classic stuff from the past and also what great new music I’ve heard…

Then I think about some of the unusual and different sounds I’ve heard – such as complete albums of Jews Harp music or Gypsy Brass Bands from Hungary…

I put it in the pot, stir it about a bit, cut it all down to an hour and a bit then sit and gibber while I play the tracks in.

I don’t claim to get it spot on every time – nobody ever can. But I won’t be lobbied – if I don’t think it’s right for the show then I don’t play it. But I’m always ready to listen to suggestions and to new stuff.

We’ve set up a PO Box for CDs ‘n’ stuff – you can send them to:

The Mike Harding Folk Show, PO Box 92, Settle BD24 5AG

You can also post suggestions in the guest book.

Hope this answers your question. Cheers Mike.


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Tags: Folk (1), Acoustic (1), Podcast (1), Roots (1)
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