Trio of campus musicians meet outside, inside–wherever they can make music

By Greg Pfeiffer
Mother Nature has acted a bit out of character this fall. Instead of handing us the brisk, cool days that we expect during September and October, she generously provided an extension to the warmer weather as August came to a close. An Indian summer, if you will, allowed students to spend more time outside enjoying the mild temperatures instead of digging through the closet for sweaters and jackets. A particular group of individuals are connected to this concept, but not in the meteorological sense. You may have seen them around campus, or more likely heard them.
The group in question has received the loving name of the “Troubadours” and has caught the attention of many students in passing. Comprised primarily of Eric Wilkos, Keith Adams, and Henry Amankwah, the Troubadours congregate in various spots around campus to write and play music. At first they seem unassuming; those who have never seen them are most likely imagining three guys playing acoustic guitars, joyfully expressing their creativity. While this is partially true, they possess an element that radiates originality. The sitar plays a chief role in their music, giving it a Middle-Eastern flair that provides for an interesting listen. It’s more like “India Summer,” for lack of a better term. The group is very dedicated to their craft, as evidenced by what Adams has to say.
“Our big goal is to maintain and strengthen the health of the McDaniel community. We are doing our part to make sure that self-expression is not devalued; in doing this we have realized that people can have just as much fun making and listening to music as partying.”
Trying to heighten the interest of music on campus is a lofty but very noble goal. Each of them has the experience to do so, as well as the creativity and desire to show other students that it is a worthwhile obsession. Each of the members contributes differently to the whole: Wilkos plays sitar, Adams guitar, and Amankwah provides vocals and lyrics. This is not, however, the entire representation of the Troubadours. In fact, they would rather be known as something completely different and definitely a bit odd: Turtle Buddy.
“I think Troubadours is cute. I think Wandering Minstrels would be more accurate,” said Adams, going on to say that upon, “asking my brother what our name was, the first thing he said was Turtle Buddy.”
Odd name indeed, but it somehow fits. This is a group of individuals who came together through a shared interest in creating music, sometimes from a background that wasn’t as accommodating. The college provided them not only with each other, but with a place to showcase their talent on a larger level.
“It was hard to play music back home because nobody was really interested in playing with me,” explained Wilkos. “When I got to McDaniel, however, so many people seemed interested, and we eventually were able to form a group of great musicians.”
This group also includes Sunita Pathik, a violinist, Tyler Buisch, drummer/percussionist, and Keith’s older brother Greg on melodica. These individuals complete the ensemble, but the original members write the songs as well as make the stylistic choices that give them their unique sound. It seems that with so many different styles and instruments coming together, the band would provide a robust sound that may be unlike anything you have heard before.
Fortunately, McDaniel students will get to see Turtle Buddy in action right here on campus. On November 30, the group will be performing alongside other musicians in the Forum. If you are interested, watch for more details in the near future. If you go, what can you expect from Turtle Buddy? Adams is direct in his response:
“We promise an absurd and memorable performance.”