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...
  • Summer's nearly here, and there's a ton of stuff going on — historical programs, club dates, farmers' markets, seniors' programs — and if you want to keep up with it all, best strategy's to click on the Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • The seventh year of Tunes By the Tracks is rolling along at the Clifton Springs Library, with Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath and I as co-hosts; July brings Kathy Vandemortel & Stephen Bland, better known as Old-Time Hoedown on July 1, and local pickers Dave Ianni and Bill Thomas on July 15...
  • We did a Tunes By the Tracks evening at the Victor Farmington Library on Wednesday, May 6, and its success boded well for possible future programs there as well — stay tuned...
  • Kathy and Stephen have also invited me to join them as a feature at their Roots Night at The Beale, on South Avenue in Rochester, July 9...
  • Had a great time at New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) this year, teaching an Introduction to Harmonica workshop, leading the Closing Sing-Around, and joining my Massachusetts friend Jan Maier in a discussion of Working With Senior Audiences — been about 20 years that I've been performing there, and I continue to recommend it as one of the most enjoyable music and dance weekends around; NEFFA 2016's scheduled for next April 15-17, so mark your calendars...
  • 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...
  • As a spinoff of of Tunes By the Tracks, Jim Clare and I opened the Saturday, June 6 music festivities at the Sulphur Springs Festival in Clifton Springs; other acts that day included Bristol Mountain Bluegrass and Loren Barrigar & Mark Mazengarb...
  • June featured several historical programs, with Homestead Days school programs at Granger Homestead in Canandaigua June 3-5, Civil War dancing at the Battle of Lain's Mill in Canisteo June 6, and a Railroad Songs program at the Cattaraugus County Museum June 11; July continues the pattern, with a Canal Songs program at the Lockport Public Library July 15...
  • 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...
  • For nearly a quarter-century, I attended Folk Music Week at Pinewoods Camp, near Plymouth MA, every summer, and it was an amazing run of wonderful musical contacts, friendships, and experiences — which came to an end years ago, as the Country Dance & Song Society phased the program out; now some stalwart folkies from the Folk Music Society of New York City are starting a new week at Pinewoods, to be called Traditional Music & Dance Camp, "TradMaD" for short, August 29-September 4, 2015, and I've been recruited as staff — much more about this later...
  • 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 an evening of "Singer/Songwriters In the Side Room" at Buffalo Bill's Family Restaurant in Shortsville last June; 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 — we'll be back there July 16...
  • 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 June 18, 2015
Thursday, June 18*
Alpine Manor
2714 Poplar Hill Rd., Lima, 1 P.M., seniors' program
Friday, June 26*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' programs in memory care unit 2 P.M.,actvity room 3 P.M.
Saturday, June 27
Cottage Grove
4416 Buffalo Rd., North Chili, 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Sunday, June 28*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., "lobby concert" for residents & families, 2 P.M.
Wednesday, July 1
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Old-Time Hoedown featured, Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath, and I hosting, also open mic
Thursday, July 2
South Wedge Farmers' Market
151 Mt. Hope Ave., 4-7 P.M., informal family music
Friday, July 3*
Heathwood Assisted Living
100 Elderwood Ct., Penfield, 3 P.M., seniors' patriotic sing-along
Sunday, July 5
St. Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' "happy hour"
Tuesday, July 7*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Wednesday, July 8
Monroe Village Farmers' Market
700 Monroe Ave, 4-7 A.M., informal music
Thursday, July 9*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' program on 7th floor, 10:30 A.M.
Thursday, July 9
The Beale
693 South Ave., 7:30-10:30 P.M., Roots Night feature, also Old-Time Hoedown
Friday, July 10*
Villages at Park Ridge
1471 Long Pond Rd., 2 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, July 14*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' programs in actvity room 1:30 P.M., memory care unit 3 P.M.
Wednesday, July 15
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Dave & Lara Ianni and Bill Thomas featured, Jim Clare and Cathy McGrath hosting, also open mic
Wednesday, July 15
Lockport Public Library
23 East Ave., Lockport, 6:30 P.M., Erie Canal Songs concert
Thursday, July 16
Buffalo Bill's
19 West Main St., Shortsville, 7-9 P.M., Songwriters In the Side Room w/ Bonnie Abrams
Saturday, July 18*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., seniors' program in the Bishop Kearney Auditorium
Saturday, July 18
Genesee Country Village
Flint Hill Rd., Mumford, 8-11 P.M., Civil War Re-Enactors' Ball w/Flint Hill Folk
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