Summer Tour: NYC (June 20-23)

Wow! The tour is coming to an end in a month! Then I’ll be back in Philly for my homecoming show with my awesome friends Nalani & Sarina! Anyway, here are some snippets of my summer adventure.


Day 1:

Thankfully, my 2009 Subaru Forester passed its yearly PA state inspection. The week prior, I test drove my fully-loaded car to make sure that everything ran fine. Better to work out logistical kinks earlier than later! Here’s a video I shot of the before and after:

The drive to NYC went fairly smoothly with the expected delays. My generous friends and hosts Genai & Jacob put out a cheese and vegetable spread. Then we promptly crashed to be well rested for the day ahead.


Day 2:

After waking up and getting ready, I got some food from a food truck and picnicked at Sunset Park in Brooklyn.

NYC Sunset Park

After running some errands, practicing, and more eating, I attended my first rooftop party! The panoramic shot won’t upload, so instead, here’s a weird failed panorama. I assure you that the view was quite pretty:

NYC - Rooftop party

Edit: Yay! Got the panorama to load!

Panoramic shot from a Brooklyn rooftop


Day 3: 

I got together with some old bandmates to jam before eating loads of pizza and attending an Avishai Cohen concert. Avishai Cohen is my favorite touring act at present, and he hardly performs in the US, so it was an honor.

Goo Foo

Jam with old friends & bandmates



Day 4:

I got to play at the Hollow Nickel in Brooklyn. Really great crowd, awesome host, and a goofy, light-hearted vibe for the evening. Got a lot of great advice on how to improve my act as well!

NYC Hollow Nickel


Day 5

No NYC experience would be complete without being given a parking ticket in a residential area without any signs that indicated restrictions. My EZ-Pass also malfunctioned on my way out of the city. Imagine the lovely line of patient NYC drivers who were stuck behind me because the cross bar wouldn’t lift to let me through. Anywhoo, on to Connecticut!

Watch my TEDxStanford performance! (video)

Well, my performance from TEDxStanford is finally up thanks to the hard-working folks behind this massive undertaking. Without further ado, here’s the video of my performance!


It was amazing listening to all the brilliant speakers and getting a chance to spend some time with them. I’ll be sharing their talks on my Facebook page in the coming months. Some non-TEDx highlights from my adventure to California:

  • My flight was delayed due to mechanical failure. Glad they caught it while we were still on the ground
  • Because of this I got put-up at a really nice hotel suit compliments of Delta Airlines (I give a video tour on my Instagram)
  • It was fun driving a Mazda, although the tiptronics are reversed from my Subaru and took getting used to
  • Philz Coffee makes absolutely delicious mint coffee. I’m not much of a coffee drinker but wow, never had a more refreshing ice coffee
  • My brother and I saw Spiderman 2 after a nice hike through Alum Rock Park. The hike was beautiful, hilly, and included a run-in with a wild turkey. I enjoyed the movie; apparently far more so than the critics. Maybe I’m just easy to please
  • I’m super relieved that my Stonebridge made it through traveling safely

Here are the pictures I snapped along the way:

Some pictures from my travels:



Website ( — central hub of everything I do
Facebook (/shelteredturtlemusic) — interesting articles, fan moments, & general media
Twitter (@shelteredturtle) — cute puppy pictures & direct interactions
YouTube (shelteredturtlemusic) — original & cover music, tutorials, & live footage
Instagram (/shelteredturtle) — pictures on the road for both gigs & travel

On the road: West Chester, Ambler, & Princeton

I might be a klutz and spill water on myself, but even clumsiness can lead to something lovely:

27 Wet pants heart
Before I made preparations to leave for a small weekend away, I got a little something in the mail from AAA: namely travel & camp guides for the places I’ll be visiting on my summer tour!

26 AAA books

I then head out to a rain-soaked West Chester, PA to play at the Higher Grounds. It was a really cool spot complete with an open kitchen, a fireplace complete with sofas, and a nice, open area carved out for musicians. After my set, I managed to break yet another zipper on my Reunion Blues Continental guitar bag. Nothing that a little strand of paracord and a lighter couldn’t fix!

26 Paracord zipper pull

The next day, I had a spot at the Ambler Music spring festival. Some light drizzle and ominous storm clouds scared some people away before my set, but the sky opened up once I started playing. I bumped into my friends at the Engle guitar hammer as well as many other talented musician friends. Overall, it was a fun day of hanging outside, eating food, and listening to great, local music.

26 Student band

My friend Geoff C. also managed to snap some great shots from me playing on my lovely Stonebridge G22CR-C outfitted with Miniflex Model 1 Two-mic system:





Sunday had me over in Princeton for their Communiversity Festival of the Arts. I really did not anticipate the scope of this event! I spent nearly two hours trying to find parking with no luck. I happened to run into my friend Michael M. who got into my car and parked it while I rushed over to the stage with gear in hand. The kindness of people always floors me. Everything was fine after I took a deep breath and started playing.

27 Communiversity

After a really fun set in front of a great, interactive crowd, I hung with friend and awesome/funny/hypercreative songwriter Sarah Donner, her foster kittens (pictured below), and her bassist Jay. About the most relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

27 Kittens

I then hiked back into town, grabbed some Chinese food, a root bear float, and jammed in the audience to my friends and favorite multi-instrumentalist, twin sister, musical act, Nalani & Sarina who always put on a killer, high-energy act. After walking around town for a bit, I drove to visit my folks in their beautiful country home. The next morning, I found out that sometime during my time in Princeton, I managed to put my first scratch in my Stonebridge. As Roger from Stonebridge said, “The first cut is the deepest.”

27 Stonebridge crack

And there you have it! A weekend nicely bookended by my clumsiness, hahaha!

Looking ahead, I’ll be at the Spring Picking Bluegrass Festival to demonstrate the Engle Guitar Hammer this Thursday and Friday! Then I’m off to California to perform at the TEDx Conference at Stanford University! What a dream come true!

Love and Peace,


New video! — Autodidactic Pedagogy


Phew! Five months of hard work by Video Guy Coop (E-mail for all your video needs!), and it’s finally done! This is easily my favorite music video yet.

The footage was shot on an extraordinarily nice November 2013 morning/afternoon at Valley Forge National Historical Park in King of Prussia, PA. The spot is notable in American history as the encampment where General Washington rallied his troops over a brutal winter to win American independence over the British.

The audio is from my debut album, Runaway Sketchbook (2013).

Here’s a little production screenshot as I made some final edits to Coop’s footage:



Coop and Ashley (who helped a TON with the shooting logistics):