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...
  • Leaves fell yesterday, snow fell today; the seasons progress, and so does music, so if you'd like to keep up with my musical endeavors, just click on the Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • The sixth year of Tunes By the Tracks continues at the Clifton Springs Library, with Jim Clare and Cathy McGrath joining me as co-hosts; next features are Jim Clare and myself November 19...
  • Proving that the concept of a hootenanny isn't dead, Golden Link, our local folk club, is sponsoring a Holiday Hootenanny on December 13, with a pot-luck supper and an open mic; I've been signed up to act as MC, backup musician, and general facilitator...
  • Many "historical" gigs this year, almost too many to list, often with fellow members of the Flint Hill Folk, including Cathy McGrath and me playing for Sonnenberg Summer Day Camp in Canandaigua August 1, the Bucktail Reunion Civil War re-enactment in Wellsboro PA, August 2 with Jim Kimball, the Northeast Grange Lecturers Conference at Keuka College August 4, also with Cathy and Jim, and the Sunset Serenades concert, sponsored by the Town of Brighton, August 5 — part of the town's Bicentennial celebrations, and featuring Flint Hill Folk members Ray Baumler, Pat Carey, and Sue Tennenbaum, as well as Cathy and me...
  • Speaking of bicentennials, I participated in a couple more: the Perry NY Bicentennial September 6, and a bicentennial service at the Greece Baptist Church September 21; lots of western NY towns were settled in the first two decades of the 19th century, so we can expect more to come...
  • Lifespan, a local service agency for elderly and developmentally disabled, has engaged me to provide entertainment at two of its "picnic luncheons" in Buckland Park in Brighton, November 19 and December 16...
  • The Civil War sesquicentennial generated quite a few opportunities for period songs this year — to list a few, last February 20 at the Wheatland Historical Association in Scottsville, February 25 for the residents of St. John's Meadows, April 1 at the Fairport Library, April 30 at the Dutton S. Peterson Library in Odessa NY, May 15 at the Hoag Library in Albion NY, and June 26 at the Cattaraugus County Museum in Machias NY, in addtion to the August 2 Bucktail Reunion...
  • Besides these individual Civil War programs, the Flint Hill Folk have played for Civil War dancing at several re-enactments, including the "Battle of Lain's Mill" June 7, and the "ball" at the Civil War Weekend at Genesee Country Village July 19...
  • Other historical programming this year included playing for Historic Palmyra's April 12 fund-raising steak roast, at the Alling Coverlet Museum, a kids' "show and tell" of 19th-century music at the Watkins Glen Library April 30, my annual performance, with cohorts Cathy McGrath and Jim Clare, at Homestead Days at Granger Homestead in Canandaigua June 4-6, and a Erie Canal Songs program at Rose Hill Mansion in Geneva August 24...
  • Also many local festivals, including the Park Avenue Summer Arts Festival August 3, the Brockport Arts Festival August 10, and a gig booking, stage-managing, MC-ing, and performing at the North Winton Village Arts Festival September 13...
  • Central to the local folk festival scene is the Turtle Hill Festival, held September 12-14 at the Rotary Sunshine Campus in Rush, south of Rochester; I led a campfire sing Saturday and a harmonica workshop Sunday, and Golden Link wants me back to reprise the harmonica class next January 13...
  • Got an 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)...
  • Don't get too many chances to perform with my two-decade-plus partner Bonnie Abrams these days — she's such a busy lady! — but we did an evening of "Singer/Songwriters In the Side Room" at Buffalo Bill's Family Restaurant in Shortsville on June 19; these monthly events are hosted by Canandaigua troubadours Meyer & McGuire, who have graciously posted two videos of our performance, featuring Bonnie's songs Rainforest Crunch and Ruby's Knishes...
  • Bonnie and I will get to do some Chanukah seasonal gigs, though: November 16, our annual Minnie Cohen Concert Series performance at the Jewish Home, and seniors programs at Gables at Brighton December 9, Summit at Brighton December 16, and Village at Unity December 12...
  • Not too early to look ahead to next year's New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) April 24-26, 2015October 3 was the deadline for workshop proposals, and my entries are being considered; watch this space to see what develops...
  • One of my most enjoyable NEFFA moments has to be the 2012 "Both Sides Of the Pond" showcase concert, where I joined Lori Fassman, Jeff Keller, John Roberts and Lorraine Hammond; here's a vid of me backing Lori on Goin' Down This Road Feelin' Bad...
  • The March 9 "For Pete's Sake" concert, honoring Pete Seeger and his music, was a rousing success, with dozens of local performers joining in an afternoon-long celebration, and getting a full-house audience singing along; sponsoring organizations included Golden Link, Rochester Guitar Club, and Tunes By the Tracks, and you can view a picture gallery of the event here...
  • Still getting to know my new custom-made, five-course, fan-fret mandolin/mandola, crafted for me by ace Rochester luthier Bernie Lehmann; there are pics up on Bernie's website, in the "Headstock News," labeled "FAN-tastic"...
  • Continually in pursuit of new toys, also have added a new Morse Albion concertina, English-system treble, replacing my faithful old '60's Wheatstone that I played for 25+ years — Morse instruments are a US-made quality product, sold and distributed through the Button Box in Sunderland MA — and an 1890's Waldo bowl-back mandocello...
  • 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) — we were back at St. Matthew's January 25...
  • 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 as of November 15, 2014
Sunday, November 16
Jewish Home
2021 South Winton Rd., 2 P.M., Minnie Cohen Series concert for residents & families w/Love and Knishes
Wednesday, November 19*
Lifespan Luncheon
Buckland Park Lodge, 1341 Westfall Rd., 11 A.M., developmentally challenged seniors' program
Wednesday, November 19
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., feature set w/Jim Clare, also open mic
Sunday, November 23
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., "lobby concert" for residents and famiilies
Wednesday, November 26*
Lodge at Wolk Manor
4000 Summit Circle Dr., 6:30 P.M., seniors' program
Friday, November 28*
St. Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' "happy hour"
Tuesday, December 2*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10 A.M., seniors' programs on 6th & 2nd floors
Tuesday, December 2*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Friday, December 5
Metro Justice Alternative Fair
Unitarian Church, 220 S. Winton Rd., 6-7 P.M., in the lobby
Saturday, December 6*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., holiday program in North Hall
Tuesday, December 9*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, 1:30 P.M., seniors' program in actvity room
Tuesday, December 9*
Gables at Brighton
2001 S. Clinton Ave., 7:30 P.M., Chanukah program w/Bonnie Abrams
Friday, December 12*
Village at Unity
1471 Long Pond Rd., 3 P.M., Chanukah program w/Bonnie Abrams
Saturday, December 13
Golden Link Holiday Hootenanny
Rochester Christian Reformed Church, 2750 Atlantic Ave., pot-luck and jam 5 P.M., open mic 6:30 P.M.
Tuesday, December 16*
Lifespan Luncheon
Buckland Park Lodge, 1341 Westfall Rd., 11 A.M., Caroling In the Park event for developmentally challenged adults
Tuesday, December 16*
Summit at Brighton
2000 Summit Circle Dr., 7:15 P.M., Chanukah program w/Bonnie Abrams
Wednesday, December 17*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on 5th floor 10 A.M., 8th floor 10:30 A.M.
Wednesday, December 17*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Wednesday, December 17
Tunes By the Tracks
Spa Apartments chapel, 11 E. Main St., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Celtic holiday concert w/Cuisle Mo Chroi
Thursday, December 18*
Legacy at Parklands
2000 Park Creek La., Churchville, 1 P.M., seniors' holiday program
Monday, December 22*
Brighton Manor
989 Blossom Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' holiday program
Tuesday, December 23*
Alpine Manor
2714 Poplar Hill Rd., Lima, 1 P.M., seniors' holiday program
Friday, December 26*
St. Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Wednesday, December 31*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10 A.M., seniors' programs on 5th & 8th floors
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