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...
  • Well, winter weather's here, the year's winding down, and the holidays are upon us, which means a lot of musical events, some involving me; if you want to stay au courant with my music endeavors, a good strategy is to click on the Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • The sixth year of Tunes By the Tracks concluded operations at the Clifton Springs Library, with Jim Clare and Cathy McGrath and I continuing as co-hosts; next up is our annual Celtic Christmas Concert featuring Cathy's trio Cuisle Mo Chroi, at the chaple of Spa Apartments in Clifton Springs December 17 — our seventh year starts January 14 with a performance by Buffalo "trad" multi-instrumentalist Dave Ruch, back at the library...
  • Proving that the concept of a hootenanny isn't dead, Golden Link, our local folk club, is sponsoring a Holiday Hootenanny on December 13, with a pot-luck supper and an open mic; I've been signed up to act as MC, backup musician, and general facilitator...
  • Golden Link has also asked me to teach an Introduction to Blues Harmonica workshop for the club, and I'll be showing "the basics" to anyone interested on January 13, 2015...
  • Local Press Dept. — as part of preparation for the December 13 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...
  • 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; May 2015 will mark our 50th, and once again I'm called upon to get some singing going after, a feature concert by Tom Rush — Harvard '62. if you didn't know...
  • I've been contacted by fellow Harvardian Evar Miller for a 2015 return visit to the Wheatland Historical Association in Scottsville next February 19, shortly after another "reprise," for Steve Gretz & Leslie Lee's Old-Time Music Nights, February 8 at Greece Baptist Church, where Steve serves as pastor...
  • For nearly a quarter-century, I attended Folk Music Week at Pinewoods Camp, near Plymouth MA, every summer, and it was an amazing run of wonderful musical contacts, friendships, and experiences — which came to an end years ago, as the Country Dance & Song Society phased the program out; now some stalwart folkies from the Folk Music Society of New York City are starting a new week at Pinewoods, to be called Traditional Music & Dance Camp, "TradMaD" for short, August 29-September 4, 2015, and I've been recruited as staff — much more about this later...
  • One of my happiest 2014 experiences was the 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)...
  • Nice to be back doing more performing with my long-time friend and partner Bonnie Abrams, including several Chanukah seasonal gigs: at Gables at Brighton December 9, Summit at Brighton December 16, and Village at Unity December 12...
  • Bonnie and I 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...
  • Not too early to look ahead to next year's New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) April 24-26, 2015October 3 was the deadline for workshop proposals, and my entries are being considered; watch this space to see what develops...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Some 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 as of December 3, 2014
Friday, December 5
Metro Justice Alternative Fair
Unitarian Church, 220 S. Winton Rd., 6-7 P.M., in the lobby
Saturday, December 6*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., holiday program in North Hall
Tuesday, December 9*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, 1:30 P.M., seniors' program in actvity room
Tuesday, December 9*
Gables at Brighton
2001 S. Clinton Ave., 7:30 P.M., Chanukah program w/Bonnie Abrams
Friday, December 12*
Village at Unity
1471 Long Pond Rd., 3 P.M., Chanukah program w/Bonnie Abrams
Saturday, December 13
Golden Link Holiday Hootenanny
Rochester Christian Reformed Church, 2750 Atlantic Ave., pot-luck and jam 5 P.M., open mic 6:30 P.M.
Tuesday, December 16*
Lifespan Luncheon
Buckland Park Lodge, 1341 Westfall Rd., 11 A.M., Caroling In the Park event for developmentally challenged adults
Tuesday, December 16*
Summit at Brighton
2000 Summit Circle Dr., 7:15 P.M., Chanukah program w/Bonnie Abrams
Wednesday, December 17*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on 5th floor 10 A.M., 8th floor 10:30 A.M.
Wednesday, December 17*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Wednesday, December 17
Tunes By the Tracks
Spa Apartments chapel, 11 E. Main St., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Celtic holiday concert w/Cuisle Mo Chroi
Thursday, December 18*
Legacy at Parklands
2000 Park Creek La., Churchville, 1 P.M., seniors' holiday program
Thursday, December 18*
Lodge at Wolk Manor
4000 Summit Circle Dr., 6:15 P.M., seniors' program
Monday, December 22*
Brighton Manor
989 Blossom Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' holiday program
Tuesday, December 23*
Alpine Manor
2714 Poplar Hill Rd., Lima, 1 P.M., seniors' holiday program
Friday, December 26*
St. Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Saturday, December 27*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., 3rd floor seniors' program
Wednesday, December 31*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10 A.M., seniors' programs on 5th & 8th floors
Sunday, January 4*
Lodge at Wolk Manor
4000 Summit Circle Dr., 2 P.M., seniors' program
Monday, January 5*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on 3rd floor (10 A.M.), 2nd floor (10:30 A.M.)
Tuesday, January 6*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Tuesday, January 13*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, 1:30 P.M., seniors' program in actvity room
Tuesday, January 13
Golden Link Harmonica Workshop
12 Corners Presbyterian Ch., 1200 S. Winton Rd., 7 P.M.
Wednesday, January 14
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Dave Ruch featured, Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath, and I hosting, also open mic
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