The Folk Show

Sundays 10:00 p.m.-midnight; Saturdays 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., May-November (WPSU 3: Saturdays 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., Sundays 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.)

The Folk Show, produced by WPSU Penn State, brings you great music every weekend. You'll hear the occasional a cappella sea shanty or perhaps some Klezmer — and LOTS of celtic, bluegrass/oldtime, singer-songwriters and acoustic instrumentals.

Browse Folk Music Events on the WPSU Penn State Calendar.

Listen: Find Archived of Broadcasts of The Folk Show: Scroll below.   

Find Broadcast Playlists: From the main menu, select "Radio", then "Schedules"; under Choose Radio Station, select "WPSU" or "WPSU-3"; then select the date and time of the broadcast. 

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This first half of Ray Holley's Sunday show       hosts an hour of outstanding folk selections including classic Bill Clifton, the a-cappella Voice Squad and singer-songwriters such as Beth Williams, Deidra Flint, and Eric Taylor. This second half of Ray Holley's Sunday show is dedicated to the music of Texas singer and accomplished songwriter Guy Clark, 2014 Grammy winner for Best Folk Album.  Hear his best known and his little known as well as covers by Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Jerry Jeff Walker and Suzi Bogguss.   

As we often do, we feature two artists recorded at two venues in this week's Folk Show Road Show.   First Caroline Herring, recorded at the Wagon Shed in New Freedom PA,  and in the second hour,  Van Wagner,  from a somewhat raucous concert in a packed room at the Elk Creek Café and Aleworks in Milleim.

Caroline Herring has received honors from Boston MA to Austin TX for her songwriting and recordings, has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion,  and been recognized internationally for her work in traditional song interpretation. 

The Folk Show Saturday Afternoon with Kurt Johnson and Julie Holm

Jul 4, 2014

join Kurt Johnson for two hours of great mix of old and new folk music to help usher out June and welcome July!  You'll hear John Gorka, Carrie Elkin & Danny Schmidt, Guy Davis, Dave Alvin, The Steel Wheels, Carolina Chocolate Drops and many others. Julie Holm continues for two more hours of the Saturday Afternoon Folk Show         

  An hour of a wide range of Folk Music,  followed by a Special Edition focused on Folk Soundtracks, including The classic Woodstock and Harder They Come, Cohen brothers films, Bob Dylan feature films, and some random television themes.

Chas is your host for an audio Folk Music journey featuring Tim O'Brien, Toshi Reagon, Jim Malcolm, The Stray Birds, and many more

Host Cleo features a wide variety of folk music in this two-hour show: sea chanties to coal mining songs, Sam Rizzetta on the fretted dulcimer to Heritage on the jawharp, Callanish from Central PA to La Musgana from Spain, Shelley Phillips, No Strings Attached, La Bottine Souriante, and lots of others.

The Folk Show Sunday Afternoon with Ray Holley

Jun 23, 2014

Ray Holley hosts two hours of outstanding folk selections by such artists as Andy Moore, the Lilly Brothers, Leo Kottke, Nickel Creek, and the McGarrigle sisters.  Remember the artist who sang the 1970s top-40 hit "Midnight at the Oasis?"  Her folk blues is featured, as is a folk version of the song John Lennon admitted was his favorite Paul McCartney composition.

The Folk Show recorded from a live broadcast Sunday May 15, 2014.  Host Steve Van Hook plays a variety of Folk Music in this hour preceeding his Special Edition focused on Father's Day.

The Folk Show Saturday afternoon with Ray Holley

Jun 20, 2014

Ray Holley hosts two hours of the folk show with a classic mix of singer-songwriter, Celtic and acoustic folk.  Greg Brown, Carla Sciaky, Shelley Phillips, and David Massengill are among those who contribute to this show which also features several fiddle masters, Willie Hunter, Eileen Ivers, and Byron Berline.

  Chas Brua hosts the June 14, 3-5 PM Folk Show, and features music from lots of different traditions -- bluegrass, African-American old-timey, French-Canadian, Cape Breton, Scandinavian, Hawaiian, Malian, and others. Plus, musings from singer-songwriters like Terence Martin, Ellen Cherry, Richie Stearns, and Rosalie Sorrells.


On Father's Day, in the second hour of this show, Steve shares songs about fathers by artists such as Jonathan Byrd, Bruce Springsteen, Guy Clark, Steve Goodman, Doug Irwin, David Francey, Rod Picott, and Patty Griffin. In the first hour, Steve gives the Folk Show premiere of songs from David Olney's new album "When the Deal Goes Down" and the song-cycle "Find Your Angel" by Verlon Thompson, Sue Cunningham, and Frank Serio; and self-titled album by the Mississippi-based Americana band Water Liars.

Jim Colbert hosts this Sunday night edition of the Folk Show,  with a wide range of folk music.

Chris Smither's guitar riffs, voice, lyrics and sense of humor are in fine form at this intimate concert captured at the Wagon Shed Concert Series May 31, 2014.  Smither's excellence has been recognized for over 50 years, starting with a first place at a competition in New Orleans when he was still in high school.  This recording is more evidence that he is still going quite strong,  and still adding to his well-deserved reputation. 

  After traveling through Ohio and into Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, this weeks selection reflects traveling, medicinal food and herbs--going past Kankakee made it a must to include "City of New Orleans".  The heartland of our country is sprouting cornfields right up to the houses, and huge wind farms tower over the farms...a tour of what was, what is, and what may be...This week's folkshow reflects the music and history of the Midwest on the road.

The Folk Show Saturday afternoon with Jonathan McVerry

Jun 10, 2014

Matching the gorgeous Happy Valley sunshine on Saturday, June 7th,



   Jonathan plays a range of feel good folk, bluegrass, and gospel. Enjoy the greats like Dave Van Rock, Leadbelly, and Woody Guthrie mixed with local favorites like Grain, Fatman, and Andy Tolins--and more!


We remember D-Day and WW II with recordings from that time, and a couple more contemporary songs and renditions.  Celtic music from local Callanish and RUNA, latin and traditional steel drum music, as well as John Gorka, Hem, Sarah Jarosz, Malcolm Holcombe, Mike Agranoff, and more.  English ballads, Sea Chantys, and woven through a half dozen waltzes.  

The Folk Show Sunday Night with host Jim Colbert

Jun 6, 2014

Folk Show host Jim Colbert closed



   out Memorial Day weekend with some Folk College favorites - Bruce Molsky and Simple Gifts; offers some Pennsylvania flavor with the Stray Birds, Fieldstone and Tom Flannery; some classic bluegrass from Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver and Del McCoury band; Betty Boop meets Buddha, and brand new music from Rob MChale and Joe Crookston.

Host Cleo plays music from Austria, Sweden, Quebec, and right here in Pennsylvania. Styles range from Celtic to bluegrass, sea chanties to singer-songwriters. Enjoy the two-hour broadcast on this archive recording.

The Folk Show Saturday Afternoon with Kurt Johnson

Jun 3, 2014

  Host Kurt Johnson brings you a taste of some new releases with a healthy mix of traditional favorites. From 1 to 3 you can expect to hear new Tony Trischka, Kris Delmhorst , The Seldom Scene and Red Molly. You’ll hear other folk favorites from the likes of Verlon Thompson, Nora Jane Struthers, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan.

Austin TX Songwriter James McMurtry performed solo at Elk Creek Cafe and Aleworks in Millheim PA on February 9, and WPSU was there to capture the concert.  The room was packed, in spite of a winter storm leaving roads snow covered and slippery, and  McMurtry was in fine form.   For those who appreciate McMurty's brutally stark imagery and vivid characters, this solo recording brings his words to the forefront.  Thanks to house sound engineer John Rattie for his skill at making that possible.  This recording was broadcast Tuesday, May 27, 2014.

The Folk Show Saturday afternoon with Art Wachter

May 14, 2014

Art Wachter is your host for a wide range of music on the Folk Show, including songs from Mumford and Sons to Lindsey Lou in the Flatbellys.  In the second hour, Art introduces a new album from Chesapeake with a live phone conversation with Jimmie Gaudreau. Click on the headline to listen!




The Folk Show Saturday afternoon with Xuan Liu

May 14, 2014

Host Xuan Liu brings you songs from Ralph Stanely to the Gypsy Kings, and styles from Blues to Celtic to Klezmer to Zydeco. Two hours of a Live Folk Show Broadcast,  captured here in this archive recording.  Click on the headline to listen!

Steve celebrates Mother's Day with songs from BB King, Iris Dement, Walyon Jennings, Abigail Washburn, Johnny Cash, Patty Griffin, Flatt & Scruggs, and more.   Click on the headline to listen! 


  Jim Colbert closes out a weekend's worth of news, entertainment, information and music on WPSU,  with the Folk Show from 10pm to midnight Sunday.   Everything from "Dead Man Walking" by John McCutcheon, to Greg Klyma's "Chicken Song,"  with Hot Soup  in the middle.  Janis Ian is on the playlist too,  and Johnny  Cash, Bruce Springsteen, The Stray Birds,  Moxy Fruvous,  and lots more.  Listen to them all,  in two one-hour segments. 

  Host Chas Brua brings you songs from The Old Blind Dogs, Bruce Molsky, Christine Lavin, The Austin Lounge Lizards, The Barefoot Movement, Tish Hinojosa, DE Temps Antan, The Stray Birds, Eileen Ivers, Jerry Douglas, Flook, James Keelaghan, The Allegheny Bilge Rats, Malaika, and many more.    Two hours of A Live Folk Show Broadcast captured here in this archive recording.  Click on the headline to listen!

The Folk Show Saturday afternoon with Julie Holm

May 3, 2014

  Host Julie Holm brings you songs from Chris Smither,  Cheikhna Demba, The Boxcar Lilies, Greg Brown, Solas, Doc Watson, Judy Collins,  Cephas and Wiggins, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Odetta, The Hickory Project, Harzer Jodier Klingen, and many more.  Two hours of a Live Folk Show Broadcast,  captured here in this archive recording.  Click on the headline to listen!

American Bluegrass, French-Canadian dances, Singer-songwriter ballads,  and lots more.  Cleo shares music from David Mallett,  Le Vent du Nord, John McEuen, The Kells, Gordon Bok,  Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys,  Les Langues Fourchues,  The Carter Family, Beau Soleil, and many others.   Click on the headline to listen!

The Folk Show Sunday Night with Host Jennifer Carman

Apr 28, 2014

Two hours of folk music hosted at the WPSU studios by Jennifer Carman.   An archive recording of the broadcast is available here in two segments, one hour each. Click on the headline to listen!

  You'll hear an hour of acoustic blues on this Folk Show Special edition, including songs from artists you might not think of as blues players: Norman and Nancy Blake, the Reel World String Band, Al Petteway, and the Young Tradition. Click on the headline to listen!


Steve Van Hook is your host, sharing music from Dick Gaughan, Broadside Electric, Pesky J. Nixon, Brother Sun, Trampled By Turtles, Iris Dement, The Pogues, Joy Kills Sorrow, Bruce Molsky, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Richard Sleigh, Erin Condo, Jerry Jeff Walker, Pete Seeger, and many more.  Click on the headline to listen!