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...
  • Getting into a real busy period, lots of interesting gigs ahead, and if you'd like to be reminded (or pestered) concerning them, click on the Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • A number of "historical" gigs in the near future, most with fellow members of the Flint Hill Folk, our long-running group of musical archivists and re-creators; these include Cathy McGrath and I playing for Sonnenberg Summer Day Camp in Canandaigua August 1, the Bucktail Reunion Civil War re-enactment in Wellsboro PA, August 2 with Jim Kimball, the Northeast Grange Lecturers Conference at Keuka College August 4, also with Cathy and Jim, and the Sunset Serenades concert, sponsored by the Town of Brighton, August 5 — part of the town's Bicentennial celebrations, and featuring Flint Hill Folk members Ray Baumler, Pat Carey, and Sue Tennenbaum, as well as Cathy and me...
  • The Civil War sesquicentennial has generated quite a few opportunities for period songs — to list a few, February 20 at the Wheatland Historical Association in Scottsville, February 25 for the residents of St. John's Meadows, April 1 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, in addtion to the August 2 Bucktail Reunion...
  • Besides these individual Civil War programs, the Flint Hill Folk have played for Civil War dancing at several re-enactments, including the "Battle of Lain's Mill" June 7, and the "ball" at the Civil War Weekend at Genesee Country Village July 19...
  • Since much of the Rochester area was settled during the early 19th Century, there's quite a bit of "Bicentennialism" going on this year — I'm inovolved in some of it, including the Sunset Serenades concert in Brighton August 5, the Perry NY Bicentennial September 6, and a bicentennial service at the Greece Baptist Church September 14...
  • Other historical programming this year included 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 my annual performance, with cohorts Cathy McGrath and Jim Clare, at Homestead Days at Granger Homestead in Canandaigua June 4-6; looking ahead, I'll be joined by my friend, storyteller Fran Carlisi-Paxson, for an "Annie & Al On the Erie Canal" program at Rose Hill Mansion in Geneva August 24...
  • One of my near-annual gigs is a slot at the Park Avenue Summer Arts Festival, and I have an early-afternoon set on the Alexander Street Stage August 3; the next weekend, I head west to the Brockport Arts Festival, with a noon-time performance at the Morgan Manning House August 9...
  • Got an 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)...
  • Speaking of the Genesee Country Village Fiddlers' Fair, the 34th one — largest traditional music event in western New York — will be held August 16 & 17, and will feature dozens of fiddlers, bands, dancers, singers — entertaining thousands of audience members; don't miss it!...
  • Obviously non-historical, but a lot of fun, is Capt. Redbeard's Feast, a "pirate and seafood themed festival" on the shores of Honeoye Lake (my ol' homestead, where I lived and went to school); Canadice Supervisor Kris Singer, who coordinates the event, has invited me to belt out some sea chanteys and pirate ballads August 31...
  • Don't get too many chances to perform with my two-decade-plus partner Bonnie Abrams these days — she's such a busy lady! — but we did an evening of "Singer/Songwriters In the Side Room" at Buffalo Bill's Family Restaurant in Shortsville on June 19; 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...
  • Farmers' market season's upon us; I kicked it off with a stint at the Westside Farmers' Market July 22, and will be at the Monroe Village Farmers' Market July 30, August 13, September 10 and October 8, plus the Perry Farmers' Market September 6; lots of chances to sing Barnyard Dance!...
  • The sixth year of Tunes By the Tracks is half over at the Clifton Springs Library, with Jim Clare and Cathy McGrath joining me as co-hosts; next features are the amazing international guitar duo of Loren Barrigar & Mark Mazengarb August 6, and Rochester country singer-songwriter Jeff Riales August 20...
  • The Tunes By the Tracks crew also performed at the Sulphur Springs Festival in Clifton Springs June 7; a beautiful day, with parades, concerts, and all kinda festivities...
  • The New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) April 25-27 was a wonderful experience, as it's been for me the past 20 years or so; I led the Closing Sing-Around, joined Jan Maier to co-lead a discussion workshop on Working With Senior Audiences, took over for my my friend Evy Mayer leading her Ukulele Lady workshop (Evy had a bad case of laryngitis), and joined Drew Smith's band for a collegial Razzle-Dazzle Autoharp workshop...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Golden Link's March Music Madness concert March 29 was a really fun afternoon/evening event (despite the snowstorm); the Dady Brothers released their new Grand Band CD, a delicious chili supper was served, and I led some spirited sing-around-ing and jamming — pics here...
  • Still getting to know 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...
  • 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; 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 as of July 28, 2014
Tuesday, July 29*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10 A.M.6th floor, 10:30 A.M. 2nd floor, seniors' programs
Tuesday, July 29*
Maplewood Nursing Home
100 Daniel Dr., Webster, 6:30 P.M., residents' patio concert
Wednesday, July 30
Monroe Village Farmers' Market
730 Monroe Ave., 4-7 P.M.
Friday, August 1*
Granger Homestead Summer Program
Sonenberg, 151 Charlotte St., Canandaigua, 9:30 A.M., kids' program w/Cathy McGrath
Saturday, August 2
Bucktail Reunion Re-enactment
Woodland Pk., Bryden St., Wellsboro PA, 8 P.M., Civil War Songs program w/Jim Kimball
Sunday, August 3
Park Avenue Summer Arts Festival
Alexander St. Stage, Park Ave. & Alexander St., 1:45-2:30 P.M.
Monday, August 4
Northeast Grange Lecturers Conference
Norton Chapel, Keuka College, 411 Lake Ave., Keuka Park NY, 7 P.M., w/Flint Hill Folk
Tuesday, August 5*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, August 5
Sunset Serenades Concert
Buckland Pk., 1341 Westfall Rd., 6:30 P.M., w/Flint Hill Folk, for Town of Brighton Bicentennial
Wednesday, August 6
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Loren Barrigar & Mark Mazengarb featured
Friday, August 8*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10:30 A.M., seniors' program on 4th floor
Saturday, August 9
Brockport Arts Festival
Morgan Manning House, 151 Main St., Brockport, 12 NOON, historical music
Monday, August 11*
Hill Haven
1550 Empire Blvd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, August 12*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, 1:30 P.M., seniors' program in actvity room
Tuesday, August 12*
Summit at Brighton
2000 Summit Circle Dr., 7:15 P.M., seniors' program
Wednesday, August 13
Monroe Village Farmers' Market
730 Monroe Ave., 4-7 P.M.
Friday, August 15*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10:30 A.M., seniors' program on 4th floor
Sat.-Sun., August 16-17
Old-Time Fiddlers' Fair
Genesee Country Village, Flint Hill Rd., Mumford NY, 10 A.M.-5 P.M. each day, w/Flint Hill Folk plus many other bands & fiddlers
Tuesday, August 19*
Hamlet at Unity
1471 Long Pond Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, August 19*
Maplewood Nursing Home
100 Daniel Dr., Webster, 6:30 P.M., residents' patio concert
Wednesday, August 20
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Jeff Riales featured
Sunday, August 24*
St. Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2 P.M., seniors' "happy hour" program
Sunday, August 24
Rose Hill Mansion
543 South Main St., Geneva, 5 P.M., Canal Songs program w/Fran Carlisi-Paxson, for Geneva Historical Society
Thursday, August 28*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10:30 A.M., seniors' program on 7th floor
Friday, August 29*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10:30 A.M., seniors' program on 4th floor
Saturday, Auguxt 30*
Adams Wedding
Elks Lodge, 4400 Sweden-Walker Rd., Brockport, 4 P.M., w/Flint Hill Folk
Sunday, August 31
Capt. Redbeard's Fest
Sandy Bottom Pk., Honeoye Lake NY, 1 & 3 P.M., sea & pirate songs
Tuesday, September 2*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 10:30 A.M., seniors' program
Wednesday, September 3
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., John & Cathy Cadley featured
Saturday, September 6
Perry Farmers' Market
Main St. & Borden Ave., Perry NY, 10 A.N.-12 NOON
Saturday, September 6
Town of Perry Bicentennial
Village Park, Lake St., Perry NY, 1 P.M., historical program
Saturday, September 13
North Winton Village Festival
Linear Garden, Main St. & Winton Rd., 11 A.M.5 P.M., stage managing & performing
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