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 "Fin" Hopkins for his expertise...
  • February couldn't decide if it was winter or spring, but we're into MarchSt. Patrick's season — and the calendar's pretty full; should you want to keep abreast of all my musical meanderings, you could click on the Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • Well into the eighth year of Tunes By the Tracks, our onging twice-a month concert series at the Clifton Springs Library; we had SRO sellouts in January and February with Christine Lavin and the Dady Brothers, and the months to come feature such well-known folkies as Anne Hills, Andy Cohen, Loren Barrigar & Mark Mazengarb, Taylor Pie — plus the best of local and regional acoustic musicians; we're proud, maybe a bit surprised, and looking forward to seeing you down in Clifton Springs...
  • Got accepted for this year's New England Folk Festival (NEFFA), scheduled for April 21-23 (my 22nd year there); I'll be leading an Erie Canal Songfest, as well as the Closing Sing-Around, and joining Jan Maier leading a Playing For Senior Audiences symposium...
  • 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...
  • For nearly a decade, my band Innisfree, the area's longest-lived Celtic aggregation, has provided music for the St. Patrick's Day party at Lima's American Hotel — we'll be back this March 17, 7-9 p.m., and we hope to see some of our friends there...
  • Had a good time helping to lead the Holiday Hootenanny for Golden Link, our local folk club, last December 10 (you can see pics of the event here); the last one of these was two years ago, and I did a little write-up on the subject of hootenannies in general, for the November 30, 2014 issue of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle; you can read my thoughts here, ...
  • Looks like I'll be hooking up with the Hochstein Music School in downtown Rochester, to teach an introductory harmonical course, four sessions starting July 13; I'll post more about the program as details are worked out...
  • Leslie Lee & Steve Gretz, husband and wife singer/songwriters, have been valuable contributors to our local folk scene, since moving here from MA a decade ago, to take over pastorship of the Greece Baptist Church; one of their features there have been Old-Time Music Nights at the church, where I wqs featured January 8 — thanx to Leslie & Steve for their ongoing support...
  • One of the things I most enjoy about music is performing history-themed programs, generally in costume and using restored period instruments, for schools, libraries and historical societles; there are quite a few ahead, including music at a steak dinner for Historic Palmyra April 29, a Canal Bicentennial Kickoff singing program for the Lyons Erie Canalway Greeters April 30, Homestead Days at Granger Homestead in Canandaigua June 1-3, and a Songs of Irish Immigration program at the Cattaraugus County Museum August 10 — also under consideration is an Erie Canal Bicentennial at the Strong Museum in July...
  • Continuing to look ahead to 2017, I have over 130 gigs lined up for the coming year, including Tunes By the Tracks, several local seniors' residences, and the historical performances mentioned above; I'm also hoping that the Erie Canal Bicentennial offers even more opportunities for historical programming...
  • Had some great Fall 2016 music weekends, including Golden Link's Turtle Hill Folk Festival September 9-11, and the North Winton Village Festival and the Springwater Music Fair the next weekend; concerts, workshops, running sound systems and leading sing-arounds — it's all good...
  • I've enjoyed doing some performing over the past year or so with my 25-year music partner Bonnie Abrams, and a number of our collaborations have turned up on YouTube, from our gigs at Singer/Songwriters In the Side Room at Buffalo Bill's Family Restaurant in Shortsville; these monthly concerts are hosted by Canandaigua troubadours Meyer & McGuire, who have graciously posted videos of our performances of Bonnie's songs, including Rainforest Crunch, Ruby's Knishes, I Have No Apps, Hillary & Susan B, and Old Folk Singers Never Die...
  • 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...
  • For years Mark Deprez, who plays with me in Innisfree, Rochester's longest-running Celtic band, has brought 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 will be back there January 28; we also played a "post-St. Pat's" dinner at St. Mary's Church in Honeoye several years ago, parts of which were picked up on YouTube here and here and here ...
  • 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 more 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 Place In the Choir 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 March 5, 2017
Monday, March 6*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, March 7*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Thursday, March 9*
Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse
1437 Blossom Rd., 2 P.M., seniors' program w/Kathleen Cappon
Sunday, March 12
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., "lobby concert" for residents & families
Monday, March 13*
Finger Lakes DDSO St. Patrick's Party
Guardian Angels Ch., 2061 East Henrietta Rd., 7-8:30 P.M., for group home residents
Tuesday, March 14*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' programs in living room !:30 P.M., memory care unit 3 P.M.
Wednesday, March 15
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Andy Cohen featured,, also open mic
Thursday, March 16
Greece Seniors
Community Ctr., 3 Vince Tofany Blvd., 10:45 A.M., St. Patrick's Luncheon
Thursday, March 16*
Gridley Inn
36 West Main St., Waterloo, 7-9 P.M., Acoustic Thursdays w/ Jim Clare
Friday, March 17*
Ashton Place
190 Ashton Ct., Clifton Springs, 2 P.M., seniors' St. Patrick's Day program
Friday, March 17
American Hotel
7304 East Main St., Lima, 7-9 P.M., St. Patrick's Day party, w/Innisfree
Sunday, March 19*
Seabury Woods
110 Dalaker Dr., 3 P.M., seniors' program
Friday, March 24*
Heather Heights
160 West Jefferson Rd., Pittsford, 2 P.M., seniors' program
Saturday, March 25*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Sunday, March 26*
St. Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Thursday, March 30
Clark Manor House
318 Fort Hill Ave., Canandaigua, 1 P.M., seniors' program
Monday, April 3*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, April 4*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Wednesday, April 5
Tunes By the Tracks Too
Victor-Farmington Library, 15 West Main St. Victor, 7-9 P.M., Pepper & Sassafras featured, also Mystery Pickers open mic
Monday, April 10*
SEEDS Program
Trinity Emmanuel Ch., 751 Elmgrove Rd., 6:30 P.M., entertainment for group home residents
Tuesday, April 11*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' programs in living room !:30 P.M., memory care unit 3 P.M.
Thursday, April 13*
Highlands at Pittsford
100 Hahnemann Tr., Pittsford, 6:30 P.M., seniors' program
Wednesday, April 19
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Austin MacRae featured,, also Mystery Pickers open mic
Friday-Sunday, April 21-23*
New England Folk Festival
Mansfield School Complex, 250 East St., Mansfield MA; Erie Canal Songfest, Fri. 7 P.M., Playing for Seniors, Saturday, 6 P.M., Closing Sing-Around, Sunday, 4 P.M.,
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