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...
  • St. Patrick's Day and all its greenery behind now, and though the snows of winter are maddeningly persistent, Spring can't be far away, with some travel plans to New England and elsewhere; should you be interested in following my "Rambles of Spring," you can visit the Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • Observances of the Civil War Sesquicentennial have kept me busy with programs of songs from that era, including recent performances February 20 at the Wheatland Historical Association in Scottsville and February 25 for the residents of St. John's Meadows; looking ahead, April 1 (no foolin'!) at the Fairport Library, April 30 at the Dutton S. Peterson Library in Odessa NY, May 15 at the Hoag Library in Albion NY, and June 26 at the Cattaraugus County Museum in Machias NY...
  • The March 9 "For Pete's Sake" concert, honoring Pete Seeger and his music, was a rousing success, with dozens of local performers joining in an afternoon-long celebration, and getting a full-house audience singing along; sponsoring organizations included Golden Link, Rochester Guitar Club, and Tunes By the Tracks, and you can view a picture gallery of the event here...
  • In addition to my individual Civil War programs, the Flint Hill Folk will be playing for dances at several re-enactments: we're scheduled at the "Battle of Lain's Mill" June 7, Marilla Civil War Days June 21, and Civil War Weekend at Genesee Country Village July 19...
  • Other historical programming upcoming in the near future, includes playing for Historic Palmyra's April 12 fund-raising steak roast, at the Alling Coverlet Museum, a kids' "show and tell" of 19th-century music at the Watkins Glen Library April 30, and Homestead Days at Granger Homestead in Canandaigua June 4-6...
  • Golden Link, Rochester's folk club — and sponsor of the "For Pete's Sake" concert described above — has asked me to lead a family sing-around as part of their March Music Madness concert March 29, which will feature the release of the new Dady Brothers CD...
  • One of the (many) downsides of my injury, was not getting to play my new custom-made, five-course, fan-fret mandolin/mandola, crafted for me by ace Rochester luthier Bernie Lehmann; there are pics up on Bernie's website, in the "Headstock News," labeled "FAN-tastic"...
  • Continually in pursuit of new toys, also have added a new Morse Albion concertina, English-system treble, replacing my faithful old '60's Wheatstone that I played for 25+ years; these Morse instruments are a US-made quality product, and are sold and distributed through the Button Box in Sunderland MA, wonderful outfit with whom I've dealt for decades  and on whom I also rely to keep my two 19th-century Wheatstones functional, for historical programs etc...
  • The sixth year of Tunes By the Tracks is well underway at the Clifton Springs Library, with Jim Clare and Cathy McGrath joining me as co-hosts; next features up are the Dady Brothers on April 2, and Leslie Lede & Steve Gretz on April 16...
  • The Tunes By the Tracks crew will also be performing at the Sulphur Springs Festival in Clifton Springs June 7...
  • Every April, for the past 19 years or so, I've performed at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) in Massachusetts; nearly missed the application deadline this year, due to surgeries and other distractions, but the festival committee relented, and I'll be leading the Closing Sing-Around and leading a discussion on Working With Senior Audiences...
  • One of my recent NEFFA memories was 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...
  • 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) — we were back at St. Matthew's January 25...
  • 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...
  • Here are some nice pics from a great canal cruise on the Colonial Belle in Spring 2012, organized by Rochester radio's Legends 102.7; I shared the afternoon with Gretchen Sepik, who has been enacting Surly Sal the Canal Cook for many years...
  • Some YouTube videos with my music: this one taken at First Fridays at the Seward House Museum in Auburn last July 1, 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...
  • 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 as of March 22, 2014
Wednesday, March 26*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10 A.M., seniors' programs on 5th & 8th floors
Thursday, March 27*
Clark Manor House
318 Fort Hill Ave., Canandaigua, 1 P.M.,, seniors' program
Saturday, March 29
March Music Madness Concert
Christian Reformed Ch., 2750 Penfield Rd., leading 4:30 P.M. sing-around, also dinner, Dady Brothers concert, sponsored by Golden Link
Tuesday, April 1*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10 A.M., seniors' programs on 6th & 2nd floors
Tuesday, April 1*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, April 1
Fairport Library
1 Fairport Village Landing, Fairport, 7:15 P.M., Civil War Songs program
Wednesday, April 2
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Dady Brothers featured
Thursday, April 3*
Heather Heights
160 W. Jefferson Rd., Pittsfor, 6:45 P.M., seniors' program
Sunday, April 6*
St. Ann's Cherry Ridge
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Monday, April 7*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10:30 A.M., seniors' program on 7th floor
Monday, April 7
Valley Manor
1570 East Ave., 7 P.M., seniors' concert
Tuesday, April 8*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, 1:30 P.M., seniors' program in Memory Care unit
Wednesday, April 9*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10 A.M., seniors' programs on 5th & 8th floors
Saturday, April 12
Historic Palmyra
Alling Coverlet Museum, 123 Market St., Palmyra, 5:30 P.M., 19th-century music for steak roast fund-raiser
Sunday, April 13
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., residents/families "lobby concert"
Monday, April 14*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurton Rd., 3 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, April 15*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10 A.M., seniors' programs on 6th & 2nd floors
Wednesday, April 16
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Leslie Lede & Steve Gretz featured
Thursday, April 17*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10:30 A.M., seniors' program on 7th floor
Sunday, April 20*
Seabury Woods
110 Dalaker Dr., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Friday-Sunday, April 25-27
New England Folk Festival (NEFFA)
Mansfield HS, 250 East St., Mansfield MA, leading Working w/Senior Audiences workshop Saturday 4 P.M., Closing Sing-Around Sunday 4 P.M.
Wednesday, April 30
Watkins Glen Library
610 S. Decatur St., Watkins Glen, 10 A.M., pre-school historical music program
Wednesday, April 30
Dutton S. Peterson Library
106 1st St., Odessa NY, 3:15 P.M., teens' Civil War Songs 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