What's a long-time folkie, a "pre-boomer" more at home with a century-old mandolin than an iMac, doing on the web? Well, I hope to give you an introduction to my music, a current performance calendar, a few bits of bio, an opportunity to write me or even book me, plus the odd morsel of miscellany. Oddly enough, one of the things I've always loved about folk music, in the 40-plus years I've been playing it, is its intimacy — the lack of distance between performer and audience. Here, in the paradoxical one-on-one closeness of our impersonal electronic community, we can talk directly.

I play folk music — American traditional, Celtic instrumental, a bit of Yiddish, blues, bluegrass, old timey, and contemporary. With varying degrees of expertise, I handle guitar, banjo, mandolins of all sizes, Autoharp, English concertina, harmonica, bass (acoustic and electric), Dobro, Appalachian dulcimer, ukulele, and other odd instruments from tiple to kalimba. I perform in a variety of groups, and coordinate performances by many of my musical friends. I've participated in over a dozen recordings, played many a concert, coffeehouse and regional festival. I put together theme programs, historical and contemporary, and work frequently with special audiences — kids, seniors, etc. I work mostly out of Rochester NY, occasionally elsewhere in the Northeast. I love choruses, sing-arounds, swapping songs, backing up singers, and late-night jams.

Here are some of the specific things I can offer:

Love and Knishes
A trio with award-winning singer-songwriter Bonnie Abrams and Eastman-trained violinist Glenna Chance, presenting music from the Jewish tradition in Yiddish and English, as well as Bonnie's original material. MP3's of the group's music included!
A quartet specializing in Celtic instrumental music on mandolin, accordian, hammered dulcimer, guitar, and concertina. MP3's of the group's music included!
Barbara Jablonski & Allen Hopkins
Performing programs of American traditional music in schools, libraries, museums and historical societies.
Special Programs
Musical programs from our past and our present; songs for special audiences — kids, seniors, et al.
Flint Hill Folk
Organized to provide folk music for Genesee Country Village, FHF perform 19th century music in period costume on restored instruments. MP3's of the group's music included!

For info, updates, and booking call (585) 482-6062 or e-mail

  • WEB SITE FEATURES include MP3 samples of Love & Knishes, Innisfree, and Flint Hill Folk on their pages; also there's a Booking Form if you'd like to set up a gig — thanx as always to Webmeister Pete Hopkins for his expertise...
  • Well, Fall is well established, the outdoor gigs are behind (I hope — last one was pretty chilly!), and we look ahead to the year's last two months, the holidays and the Winter snows of western New York; lotsa good music in the weeks to come, and if you want to keep up with it, you can click on the Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • Coffee Connection is a local organization that offers employment to women recovering from addiction, or just out of the criminal justice system — putting ideals into action! — and one of their projects is the Greenhouse Cafe on East Main; First Fridays, art gallery opening nights in Rochester, they feature music and art exhibits, and I'll be there Friday, December 4, 6:30-9 p.m....
  • Angelica NY, historic Allegany County village, reinstated its every-September Civil War Weekend this year, and I joined in, playing at Don Ash's splendid Black-Eyed Susan Cafe September 25 & 26, costume programs of Civil War Songs each night; thanx to Don as always for his hospitality and support...
  • Another Civil War Songs gig will be November 7, at the Hoag Library in Albion, where I've played quite a few times before; always a friendly audience...
  • The seventh year of Tunes By the Tracks nears completion, with twice-monthly shows at the Clifton Springs Library; Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath and I act as co-hosts; Jim and I do a feature set November 18...
  • One long-standing personal tradition is playing a few "socially relevant, progressive, and sometimes downright radical" numbers at the Metro Justice Alternative Fair a fair-trade, grassroots bazaar at the Unitarian Church on South Winton; the 34th consecutive one comes around this year, and I'll be there Friday, December 11, 7-8 p.m....
  • Traditional Music & Dance Camp, "TradMaD" for short, at Pinewoods Camp near Plymouth MA, was a wonderful experience; it was held from August 29 to September 4, featured a powerhouse lineup of folk and dance musicians from several traditions, and I was lucky to be a staff member — teaching a harmonica class, leading jams and sing-arounds, and enjoying the week immensely...
  • Two busy September weekends: the Turtle HIll Folk Festival, sponsored by Golden Link, September 11-13, where I led a fireplace sing-around, and the North Winton Village Arts Festival, September 19, where acted as MC, ran the sound system, and booked the music...
  • Time to look ahead to the 2016 New England Folk Festival (NEFFA), scheduled for next April 15-17; sent in my applications for workshop slotss, and hope to be there, as I have every year for the last 20 or so...
  • One of my pleasant NEFFA memories is this 2012 "Both Sides Of the Pond" showcase concert, where I joined Lori Fassman, Jeff Keller, John Roberts and Lorraine Hammond; check out this YouTube vid of me backing Lori on Goin' Down This Road Feelin' Bad...
  • Local Press Dept. — as part of preparation for last December's Holiday Hootenanny, I did a little write-up on the subject of hootenannies in general, which made its way into the November 30 issue of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle; you can read about it here, and can see pics of the event here...
  • Bonnie Abrams, my long-term singing partner, and I will be extolling the virtues of Jewish cuisine, and literary tributes thereto, at the Jewish Community Center on November 22, when we perform for Knishes & A Concert as part of their Jewish Book Festival; Bonnie, of course, is well-known for her celebration of this pastry in her original song, Ruby's Knishes...
  • For the past two years, Bonnie and I have played for the "Singer/Songwriters In the Side Room" at Buffalo Bill's Family Restaurant in Shortsville July 16; these monthly concerts< are hosted by Canandaigua troubadours Meyer & McGuire, who have graciously posted videos of our performance, featuring Bonnie's songs Rainforest Crunch and Ruby's Knishes...
  • Since 1990, I've been a "folkie fixture" at reunions of my Harvard Class of 1965, hosting and coordinating sings every five years as we gather in Cambridge; at my 50th (!) in May, I led a "class hootenanny" after the feature concert by Tom Rush (Harvard '62. if you didn't know), and led the spiritual All My Trials at the class memorial service...
  • One of my happiest 2014 experiences was the unexpected invite from ace fiddler Jackie Hobbs, whose grandmother Alice Clemens was a long-time friend and MC of our Genesee Country Village Fiddlers' Fair; Jackie needed a fill-in guitarist for her set at the Old-Time Fiddlers' Gathering in Watkins Glen June 14, so I spent an enjoyable afternoon playing behind Jackie on-stage, and jamming with a bunch of musical friends from around NY State — here's a vid of Jackie's set, though I'm pretty invisible off-camera on the right (you can see my strumming hand sometimes — take my word for it, I'm there)...
  • Every year Mark Deprez, who plays with me in Innisfree, Rochester's longest-running Celtic band, brings some musical friends down to his part of the world (south of Rochester, in the Finger Lakes), for benefit concerts at local venues; we've played at St. Matthew Church in Livonia for their Eat For Heat benefit supper, and for a "post-St. Pat's" dinner at St. Mary's Church in Honeoye, (a bit of which was picked up on YouTube here and here and here) — Innisfree also played our traditional annual St. Patrick's Day early-evening performance at Lima's American Hotel...
  • Discoursed to the Rochester Guitar Club on Dobros, Nationals, and resonator instruments in general a year or so ago; thanx to Kinloch Nelson for hooking me up with them, and here's a little article about it...
  • Some YouTube videos with my music: this one taken at First Fridays at the Seward House Museum in Auburn, features Jim Clare and me singing Folsom Prison Blues; this one features Bonnie Abrams' song Ruby's Knishes, as performed by Love and Knishes, and is dedicated to the Catskills' legendary Ruby the Knish Man; and this one documents me singing Bill Staines' song at the Westside Farmers' Market last year...
  • Still available in the wondrous world of cyberspace are some neat pictures of my June 28, 2008 performance for Historic Brighton, the town's historical society; you can click here to see me explaining the wonders of the Autoharp to a junior member of the audience at the reconstructed Fort Tryon trading post in Ellison Park...
  • I've listed several of my Special Programs at Performers And Programs, a website used by libraries in New York State to identify and schedule programs; as noted above, libraries have a need for themed programs of historical music, and I'm always glad to oblige...
  • I'm also listing my programs (when I remember to!) with the Rochester Music Coalition...
Updated November 7 2015
Saturday, November 7
Hoag Library
134 South Main St., Albion, 1 P.M., Civil War Songs program
Sunday, November 8
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., "lobby concert" for residents & families
Tuesday, November 10*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' programs in activity room !:30 P.M., memory care unit 3 P.M.
Wednesday, November 11*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on the 5th floor 10 A.M., 8th floor 10:30 A.M.
Thursday, November 12*
Alpine Manor
2714 Poplar Hill Rd., Lima, 6:30 P.M., seniors' program
Sunday, November 15*
St Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, November 17*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on the 9th floor 10 A.M., 6th floor 10:30 A.M.
Wednesday, November 18*
Jewish Home
2021 South Winton Rd., 2:30 P.M., 4th floor seniors' program
Wednesday, November 18
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Jim Clare and I featured, Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath and I hosting, also open mic
Thursday, November 19*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Thursday, November 19*
Wolk Manor Lodge
4000 Summit Circle Dr., 6:15 P.M., seniors' program
Friday, November 20*
Pittsford Seniors
3750 Monroe Ave., 12:30 P.M., seniors' Thanksgiving program
Sunday, November 22
Jewish Book Festival
Jewish Community Ctr., 1200 Edgewood Ave., 3 P.M., Knishes & A Concert w/ Bonnie Abrams
Monday, November 23*
St. Seabury Woods
110 Dalaker Dr., 3 P.M., seniors' program
Friday, November 27*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on the 4th floor, 10 A.M.
Tuesday, December 1*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Thursday, December 3*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on the 9th floor 10 A.M., 7th floor 10:30 A.M.
Friday, December 4
Greenhouse Cafe
2271 East Main St., 6:30-9 P.M., First Fridays art exhibit & coffeehouse night, Michelle Turner exhibiting
Tuesday, December 8*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' programs in activity room !:30 P.M., memory care unit 3 P.M.
Tuesday, December 8*
Wolk Manor
4000 Summit Circle Dr., 6:30 P.M., seniors' Chabukahprogram w/ Bonnie Abrams
Friday, December 11*
Metro Justice Alternative Fair
Unitarian Church, 220 South Winton Rd., 7-8 P.M., in the lobby
Addresses are Rochester, NY unless otherwise indicated.
* denotes a private function.
Also on
Musical Resume
Where I've been and what I've done
Comments & Clippings
A scrapbook of snapshots and snap judgments, views and reviews
Albums I'm on, and where to get 'em
Booking Form
If you're interested in booking me, go here