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...
  • Fall is nearly here, replete with musical opportunities, and I hope to see you here and there as the leaves begin to fall; if you want to keep up with what I'm doing, just click on my Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • Interesting opportunity offered to my long-time (25 years!)musical partner Bonnie Abrams and me: opening for Brit singer-songwriter Dainel Cainer, called "honest, edgy, toucning and unpredictable" and "the comic bard of Anglo-Jewry"; folk superstar Christine Lavin started the ball rolling, and the resulting show's at Abilene's upstairs longue on September 22...
  • The seventh year of Tunes By the Tracks at the Clifton Springs Library keeps getting better and better; Bonnie Abrams and I featured on September 7, and future bookings include Almost Irish Celtic trio September 21, and "Stardust and Butterflies," a tribute to Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and Joni Mitchell, October 5...
  • Summer meant farmers' market gigs, and I played the Monroe Village Farmers' Market July 13, August 10, and September 14, and the Perry Farmers' Market September 3; lots of chances to sing Barnyard Dance, Home-Grown Tomatoes, and The Garden Song — "Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow..."....
  • 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've done 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 2-4, and the Cattaraugus County Museum August 11 — more to come, as the Wheatland Historical Association has booked me for next February 17...
  • Had some great September 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 (we'll be at Tunes By the Tracks September 7,) 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...
  • 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 2014's Holiday Hootenanny, I did a little write-up on the subject of hootenannies in general, which made its way into the November 30, 2014 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 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 September 20, 2016
Wednesday, September 21
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Almost Irish Celtic trio featured, Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath and I hosting
Thursday, September 22
Abilene Bar & Lounge
153 Liberty Pole Way, 7P.M., w/ Bonnie Abrams, opening for Dainel Cainer
Saturday, September 24*
40 Crossing Creek Dr., Fairport, 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Sunday, September 25
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., "lobby concert" for residents & families
Wednesday, September 28*
Greece Senior Center
3 Vince Tofany Dr., 11 A.M., seniors' luncheon
Sunday, October 2
Helmer Nature Center Harvest Festival
154 Pinegrove Ave., 12 NOON, family music program
Monday, October 3*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, October 4*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Wednesday, October 5
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Stardust & Butterflies tribute to Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell; Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath and I hosting, also open mic
Friday, October 7
Greenhouse Cafe
2271 East Main St., 7 P.M., coffeehouse performance
Saturday, October 8*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, October 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, October 13*
Clark Manor House
318 Fort Hill Ave., Canandaigua,! P.M., seniors' program
Friday, October 14*
Ashton Place
190 Ashton Ct., Clifton Springs, 2 P.M., family music
Sunday, October 16
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., "lobby concert" for residents & families
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