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...
  • The long, cool summer of 2014 wanes, autumn on the horizon, but the music continues without pause or interruption; surely you want to keep au courant with all events in which I'm involved, so you should just click on the Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • Many "historical" gigs this summer, almost too many to list, with fellow members of the Flint Hill Folk, including 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...
  • Speaking of bicentennials, couple more coming up: the Perry NY Bicentennial September 6, and a bicentennial service at the Greece Baptist Church September 21; lots of western NY towns were settled in the first two decades of the 19th century, so we can expect more to come...
  • 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...
  • 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, my annual performance, with cohorts Cathy McGrath and Jim Clare, at Homestead Days at Granger Homestead in Canandaigua June 4-6, and a Erie Canal Songs program at Rose Hill Mansion in Geneva August 24...
  • Also many local festivals, including the Park Avenue Summer Arts Festival August 3, the Brockport Arts Festival August 10, and a gig booking, stage-managing, MC-ing, and performing at the North Winton Village Arts Festival September 13...
  • Central to the local folk festival scene is the Turtle Hill Festival, held September 12-14 at the Rotary Sunshine Campus in Rush, south of Rochester; there's a strong featured lineup, and I'll be participating by leading a campfire sing Saturday and a harmonica workshop Sunday...
  • 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, held August 16 & 17, was a major success, featuring dozens of fiddlers, bands, dancers, and singers, and entertaining thousands of audience members; as always, the Flint Hill Folk acted as host band, holding down the MC and backup musician chores, as well as leading off each day's program on the main stage...
  • 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 Syracuse roots/bluegrass duo of John & Cathy Cadley September 3, and Woodstock singer-songwriter Marc Black September 17...
  • 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 August 27, 2014
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 Feast
Sandy Bottom Pk., Honeoye Lake NY, 1 & 3 P.M., sea & pirate songs
Monday, September 1*
St. Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 10:30 A.M., seniors' program
Monday, September 1*
Seabury Woods
110 Dalaker Dr., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, September2*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.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
Thursday, September 4*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10:30 A.M., seniors' program on 7th floor
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 w/Sue Hengelsberg, Ernie Lawrence
Tuesday, September 9*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, 1:30 P.M., seniors' program in actvity room
Tuesday, September 9
Golden Link Folk Singing Soc.
12 Corners Church, 1200 South Winton Rd., 7:30-10 P.M., leading sing-around
Wednesday, September 10
Monroe Village Farmers' Market
730 Monroe Ave., 4-7 P.M.
Saturday, September 13
North Winton Village Festival
Linear Garden, Main St. & Winton Rd., 11 A.M.5 P.M., stage managing & performing
Fridday-Sunday, September 12-14
Turtle Hill Folk Festival
Rotary Sunshine Campus, 809 5 Points Rd., Rush, leading Saturday campfire 11 P.M., Sunday Blues Harp workshop 12 NOON
Monday, September 15*
LeRoy Village Green Residences
10 Munson St., LeRoy, 2:15 P.M., seniors' Railroad Songs program
Wednesday, September 17
#19 School Kickoff Picnic
Roundhouse Pavilion, Genesee Valley Pk., 4 P.M., for Music Through the Ages
Wednesday, September 17
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Marc Black featured
Sunday, September 21
Greece Baptist Church Bicentennial
1230 Long Pond Rd., 11 A.M., historical program
Monday, September 22*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10 A.M., seniors' programs on 3rd & 6th floors
Tuesday, September 23*
Maplewood Nursing Home
100 Daniel Dr., Webster, 6:30 P.M., residents' patio concert
Thursday, September 25*
Clark Manor House
318 Fort Hill Ave., Canandaigua, 1 P.M., seniors' program
Friday, September 26*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10:30 A.M., seniors' program on 4th floor
Saturday, September 27*
Heather Heights
160 West Jefferson Rd., Pittsford, 2 P.M., seniors' program
Monday, September 29*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, September 30*
Gables at Brighton
2001 South Clinton Ave., Bradford PA, 7:30 P.M., seniors' program w/Bonnie Abrams
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