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...
  • Well into Spring now, and the outdoor music season is nearly upon us, though Rochester temps continue to languish in the 50's; if you'd like to stay au courant with my musical meanderings, a good strategy would be to click on the Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • First festival of the 2016 season looms ahead on Saturday, June 4, when Jim Clare and I will be kicking off the day's music at the Clifton Springs Sulphur Springs Festival, as we have for the past two years — lotsa other good acts on the schedule, so let's hope for pleasant weather...
  • The seventh year of Tunes By the Tracks rolls along: we make our annual pilgrimage to the Victor-Farmington Library May 4, and return to the Clifton Springs Library May 18, where we feature witty songwriter and "Professional Smart Aleck" Carla Ulbrich; she's incredibly talented and funny — check her out on YouTube...
  • 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; I'm doing several in 2016, including a steak supper fund-raiser for Historic Palmyra April 23, the Ogden Historical Society May 15, Homestead Days at Granger Homestead in Canandaigua June 1-4, and the Cattaraugus County Museum August 11...
  • Traditional Music & Dance Camp, "TradMaD" for short, at Pinewoods Camp near Plymouth MA, was a wonderful August experience; I taught a harmonica class, led jams and sing-arounds, and put on a few pounds, unfortunately, in the generous dining hall — TradMaD returns August 27 - September 2, well worth checking out...
  • I've enjoyed doing some performing over the past year or so with my 24-year music partner Bonnie Abrams, and a number of our collaborations have turned up on YouTube, from our gigs at the "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...
  • I joined Bonnie and fiddler Jen Seidman in a Workman's Circle-sponsored Klezmer & Knishes event at Rochester's Jewish Community Center March 20...
  • Had a busy, enjoyable weekend at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA), April 15-17, as I have for 20-plus years, leading workshops in Erie Canal Songs, Singing For Seniors, and the Closing Sing-Around, as well as sitting in with friends, like Autoharp genius Drew Smith, humor specialist Evy Mayer, and singers Robbie Wedeen and Steve Suffet; plan to be back next year...
  • 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...
  • 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 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 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) ...
  • 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 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 3, 2016
Tuesday, May 3*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Wednesday, May 4
Tunes By the Tracks Too
Victor-Farmington Library, 15 West Main St., Victor, 7-9 P.M., Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath and I hosting, also open mic
Friday, May 6*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10 A.M., seniors' program on 4th floor
Monday, May 9*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on the 8th floor 10 A.M., 2nd floor 10:30 A.M.
Tuesday, May 10*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' programs in living room !:30 P.M., memory care unit 3 P.M.
Sunday, May 15
Ogden Historical Society
Pulver House Museum, 568 Colby St., Spencerport, 2 P.M., Erie Canal & Other Historical Songs program
Tuesday, May 17*
St. John's Meadows
1 Johnsarbor Dr., 3:30 P.M., Songs of Irish Immigration program for senior residents
Wednesday, May 18
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Carla Ulbrich featured, Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath and I hosting, also open mic
Saturday, May 21*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Sunday, May 22
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., "lobby concert" for residents & families
Tuesday, May 24*
Friendly Home
3156 East Ave., 7 P.M., seniors' program in Porter Place
Wednesday, May 25*
Seabury Woods
110 Dalaker Dr., time TBA, Spring Carnival for residents
Thursday. May 26*
Clark Manor House
318 Fort Hill Ave., Canandaigua, 1 P.M., seniors' program
Friday, May 27*
St. Ann's Care Center
90 Cherry Ridge Dr., Webster, 10:30 A.M., seniors' program
Wednesday-Saturday, June 1-4
Homestead Days
Granger Homestead, 295 North Main St., Canandaigua, 9 A.M.-12 NOON, programs for students & public w/Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath
Wednesday, June 1
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., All-Star Library Benefit Night, Jim Clare & Cathy McGrath hosting
Saturday, June 4
Sulphur Springs Festival
Town Park gazebo, East Main St., Clifton Springs, 11:30 A.M., w/Jim Clare
Sunday, June 5*
Wolk Manor
4000 Summit Circle Dr., 6:30 P.M., seniors' program
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