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...
  • Labor Day looms ahead, bringing to a close this most active summer, though actually the season extends until the autumnal equinox in late September; much music still afoot, and — should you like to keep informed of what I'm up to — you can click on the site's Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • This week brings my staff job at at Traditional Music & Dance Camp, "TradMaD" for short, to be held at beautiful Pinewoods Camp, near Plymouth MA; this amazing week, founded and sponsored by the Folk Music Society of New York City, as well as several Northeastern folk clubs, goes from August 29 to September 4, 2015, and features folk song and dance icons from both sides of the Atlantic — I'm lucky to have a role, teaching harmonica and leading jams and sing-arounds...
  • The seventh year of Tunes By the Tracks rolls along at the Clifton Springs Library, with Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath and I as co-hosts; August's feature with Loren Barrigar & Mark Mazengarb was an SRO sellout, and we look ahead to John & Cathy Cadley and Fred Vine with Steve Piper in September...
  • The Old-Time Fiddlers' Fair, at Genesee Country Village in Mumford, was a big success over the August 15-16 weekend; Flint Hill Folk served as the host band, and hundreds of other musicians — fiddlers, hammered dulcimerists, banjo pickers and guitar strummers — joined in the two days of music and dance...
  • The weekend after Labor Day annually brings the Turtle HIll Folk Festival, sponsored by Golden Link, Rochester's folk club; as in the past, I'll be leading a sing-around there, and enjoying the great lineup of national touring and regional features...
  • Had a great time at New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) this year, as I have every year for the last 20, including 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, and mark your calendars for NEFFA 2016, scheduled for next April 15-17...
  • 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...
  • 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)...
  • Bonnie Abrams, my long-term singing partner, and I did a second evening of "Singer/Songwriters In the Side Room" at Buffalo Bill's Family Restaurant in Shortsville July 16; these monthly events 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...
  • 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 August 24, 2015
Tuesday, August 25*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Saturday, August 29-Friday, September 4
Traditional Music & Dance (TradMaD) Camp
Pinewoods Camp, West Long Pond Rd., Plymouth MA; leading jamming/sing-arounds
Wednesday, September 2
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., John & Cathy Cadley featured, Jim Clare and Cathy McGrath hosting, also open mic
Saturday, September 5
Perry Farmers' Market
South Main St., Perry, 10 A.M.-12:30 P.M., informal family music
Tuesday, September 8*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' programs in memory care unit 2 P.M.,actvity room 3 P.M.
Tuesday, September 8*
Brookdale Brighton
2001 South Clinton Ave., 7:30 P.M., seniors' program w/ Bonnie Abrams
Wednesday, September 9
Monroe Village Farmers' Market
700 Monroe Ave, 4-7 A.M., informal music
Thursday, September 10
Pittsford Village Farmers' Market
8 North Main St., Pittsford, 4-7 P.M., informal music
Friday-Sunday, September 11-13
Turtle HIll Folk Festival
Rotary Sunshine Camp, 809 5 Points Rd., Rush, leading Saturday Fireplace Sing-Around, 10:30 P.M.
Saturday, September 12*
St. John's Meadows
1 Johnsarbor Dr., 10:30 A.M., seniors' program
Sunday, September 13*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, September 15*
Friendly Home
3156 East Ave., 7 P.M., seniors' program
Wednesday, September 16
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Fred Vine & Steve Piper featured, Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath, and I hosting, also open mic
Sunday, September 20
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., lobby concert for residents & families, 2 P.M.
Tuesday, September 22*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Friday-Saturday, September 25-26
Black-Eyed Susan Cafe
22 West Main St., Angelica, 6:30-8:30 P.M. each day, Civil War Songs for village Civil War Weekend
Tuesday, September 29*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on 9th floor 10 A.M., 6th floor 10:30 A.M.
Wednesday, September 30*
Time Out For Women
Greece Senior Ctr., 3 Vince Tofany Blvd. 9:45A.M., Annie & Al On the Erie Canal program w/Fran Carlisi-Paxson
Wednesday, October 7
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Perry Cleaveland & Friends featured, Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath, and I hosting, also open mic
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