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 first-rate expertise...
  • Doing my usual bi-monthly update, and boy, I should be more responsible about this, if I want you to know what I'm up to — but you can keep up in a more timely fashion with my escapades, by going to my Booking Form page, and requesting weekly e-mail updates, and even periodic USPS schedule postcards...
  • Tunes By the Tracks chugs along at the Clifton Springs Library, down in Ontario County; in the near future we have songwriter Taylor Pie and string-band trio Brothers Blue on July 10, husband-wife folk duo Bill Destler & Rebecca Johnson July 24, and guitar wizard Loren Barrigar August 7...
  • Rochester Folkus, my other shot at folk impresario-hook in collaboration with Bill Destler and Rebecca Johnbson, takes the summer off, as usual; next shows will be The Cadleys from Syracuse September 11, and veteran bluesman Andy Cohen September 25...
  • My summer mandolin and harmonica classes at Hochstein Music School in downtown Rochester, are slow to fill up this year, but if you're interested, you can still enroll at the Hochstein website; just scroll down the Summer Music menu to Harmonica Horizons and Mondo Mando...
  • Some really interesting — one might say unique — gigs on the horizon, including a Railroad Songs program for West Sparta Old Fashioned Day down near Dansville, on July 27, a "second annual" Library Rocks! family concert in Arkport August 1, sponsored by the Arkport Village Book Center, and a barn dance at the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen August 10, with Trumansburg fiddler Bill Gregg...
  • Our local alternative weekly, City/Newspaper, did a story on "Rochester's Folk Community" last February issue; I was quoted — briefly — amd you can read the story here...
  • In addition to some unusual regional gigs, as mentioned above, I'll be back at two of my regular festival stops in August: the Park Avenue Arts Festival August 4, and the Brockport Arts Festival August 10...
  • Had a great weekend, somewhat dimmed by respiratory crud, at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) April 12-14, in Mansfield MA;I led several workshops, including Resist! Sing-Around, as well as the Closing Sing-Around which I do 'most every year — you can catch a cameo of me at the 2018 festival, participating in the "Ligntning Round," of Joel Landy's humorous songs workshop, here...
  • One of my pleasant NEFFA memories comes from years ago — 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...
  • Continue to be active in Golden Link, our local folk club, helping to run actvities like the 2016 Holiday Hootenanny,); after a similar event in 2014, the local paper asked me to do a little write-up on the subject of hootenannies in general, for their November 30, 2014 issue — you can read my thoughts here ...
  • I've enjoyed doing some performing over the past couple years with my 25-year music partner Bonnie Abrams, — don't forget, you can catch us at Rochester Folkus Feb. 27 — 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, formerly 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 2015, 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, including this January 27; 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 couple years 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 couple years ago...
  • 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 July 9, 2019
Wednesday, July 10
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Taylor Pie and Brothers Blue featured, also opem mic
Thursday, July 11*
Shore Winds
425 Beach Ave., 11 A.M., seniors' program
Saturday, July 13*
Friendly Homw/Linden Knoll
Friendly Home, 3146 East Ave., 2 P.M., Linden Knoll, 81 Linden Ave., 3:15 P.M., seniors' programs
Sunday, July 14*
St. Ann's Care Center
920 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2 P.M., seniors' program
Wednesday, July 17*
Wolk Manor
4000 Summmit Circle Dr., 2 P.M., seniors' program wBonnie Abrams
Saturday, July 20
Atria Greece
150 Towngate Rd., 2:30 P.M., outdoor reception/concert w/Jim Clare
Saturday, July 20
Genesee Country Village Civil War Re-Enactment
Flint Hill Rd., Mumford NY, 8 P.M., re-enactors' dance w/Flint Hill Folk
Wednesday, July 24*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., seniors' program in Bishop Kearney Auditorium
Wednesday, July 24*
Ashton Place
100 Ashton Ct., Clifton Springs, 7 P.M., seniors' picnic
Wednesday, July 24
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Bill Destler & Rebecca Johnson featured, also open mic
Saturday, July 27
West Sparta Old Fashioned Day
8302 Kysorville-Byersville Rd., Dansville, 11 A.M., Railroad Songs program
Saturday, July 27*
Cottage Grove
44 Cottage Grove Cir., North Chili, 2:30 P.M., seniors' program in Mary's House
Thursday, August 1
Arkport Library Rocks Concert
Vilage Park, Park Ave., Arkport NY, 10:15 A.M., family program sponsored by Arkport Village Book Center
Thursday, August 1*
Heather Heights
160 West Jefferson Rd., Pittsford, 6:45 P.M., seniors' program in the lobby
Sunday, August 4
Park Avenue Arts Festival
Alexander Street Stage, Park Ave. & Alexander St., 11:15 A.M.
Monday, August 5*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, August 6*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Wednesday, August 7
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Loren Barrigar featured, also open mic
Friday, August 9*
Hill Haven
1550 Empire Blvd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Saturday, August 10
Brockport Arts Festival
Main St., Brockport, 21-2:30 P.M., performing on the sidewalk or at the Morgan-Manning House
Saturday, August 10
Farm Sanctuary Barn Dance
3100 Aikens Rd., Watkins Glen NY, 8 P.M., w/Bill Gregg et. al.
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