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...
  • Spring rolls along, NEFFA) is behind (great weekend, as always), and there are many gigs leading into Summer; if you'd like to keep up with my comings, goings, and performings, you could click on the Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • Tunes By the Tracks, our ongoing twice-a month concert series at the Clifton Springs Library, continue it successful, season; our annual All-Star Library Benefit evening, with a dozen local musicians, is scheduled for June 7, closely followed by the Steppin' Out String Band, June 21, Loren Barrigar & Mark Mazengarb July 5,and Taylor Pie July 19 — well worth taking a little trip down to Clifton Springs...
  • Had another great time at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) April 21-23 (my 22nd year there); I led an Erie Canal Songfest, as well as the Closing Sing-Around, and joined Jan Maier to lead a Playing For Senior Audiences symposium — spent most of the rest of the weekend jamming, as per usual...
  • One of my pleasant NEFFA memories comes from five 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...
  • I'll be teaching a four-session Harmonica Horizons class for the Hochstein Music School in downtown Rochester, starting July 13; it's for beginner to intermediate harmonicists, and you can find out more at the Hochstein website ...
  • 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 were back, playing to a full house, on March 17, and we're already booked for 2018...
  • Leslie Lee & Steve Gretz, husband and wife singer/songwriters, have been valuable contributors to our local folk scene, since Steve took the pastorship of the Greece Baptist Church; one of their contributions has been monthly Sunday Old-Time Music Nights at the church (I featured there January 8, and Steve's already booked me for March 2018) — the 100th one will be held June 4, featuring Steve & Leslie and many past featured musicians, and I plan to join in as well...
  • 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, ...
  • Busy with historical music programming this year, including 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...
  • 2017, marks the Erie Canal Bicentennial and I'm hoping that tne next few years bring opportunities for programs of canal-related songs; I'll be reaching out to local libraries and historical societies, for chances to present the rich musical history of the E-ri-ee, as I did this Spring at NEFFA and in Lyons...
  • I'm on the planning committee for this year's North Winton Village Festival to be held September 16, and I'll be MC'ing, stage managing, and booking a varied afternoon of music and dance — everythng from jazz to folk to Morris dance!...
  • 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 May 29, 2017
Wednesday, May 31*
College Greene Apartments
45 College Greene Dr., North Chili, 6:30 P.M., seniors' patriotic songs program
Thursday-Saturday, June 1-3
Granger Homestead Homestead Days
295 North Main St., Canandaigua, school programs 9:30 A.M.-1:30 P.M. Thursday & Friday, public event 11 A.M.-4 P.M. Saturday, w/ Jim Clare & Cathy McGrath
Sunday, June 4
Old-Time Music Night
Greece Baptist Church, 1230 Long Pond Rd., 7 P.M., Leslie Lee & Steve Gretz featured, many others participating
Monday, June 5*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, June 6*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Wednesday, June 7
Tunes By the Tracks Too
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., All-Star Library Benefit, also open mic
Monday, June 12
Gillam Grant Community Center
6966 West Bergen Rd., Bergen NY, 6:15 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, June 13
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on the 9th floor, 10 A.M., and 8th floor 10:30 A.M.
Tuesday, June 13*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' Hawaiian luau !:30 P.M.
Wednesday, June 21
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Steppin' Out String Band featured, also Mystery Pickers open mic
Saturday, June 24*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Sunday, June 25*
Fund-Raising Party
438 Brookford Rd., Syracuse, 3 P.M., for Syracuse Jewish Music Festival, w/Bonnie Abrams
Thursday, June 29*
Clark Manor House
318 Fort Hill Ave., Canandaigua, 1 P.M., seniors' program
Monday, July 3*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, July 4*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Wednesday, July 5
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Loren Barrigar & Mark Mazengarb featured, also open mic
Saturday, July 8*
St. John's Meadows
100 Johnsarbor Dr., 10:30 A.M., seniors' patriotic songs program
Saturday, July 8*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., seniors' program in Bishop Kearney Auditorium
Tuesday, July 11*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' programs in the lobby, !:30 P.M., and memory care, 3 P.M.,
Thursday, July 13*
St. Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 1:30 P.M., seniors' program
Thursday, Juy 13
Harmonica Horizons Class
Hochstein Music School, 50 North Plymoutn Ave., 7 P.M., weekly through Aug. 4
Wednesday, July 19
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Taylor Pie featured, 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