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The Karma Scene. A sort of board for messages on the Martin Newell website which also pretends to be a pub. Get your first pretend pint free. Don't pretend to be shy.'
Missing You All!
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Hello, all at the Karma Scene. I have been out of touch for quite some time, as the winter depression set in back in January and just crushed my spirit to within an inch of its life. I have a very difficult time living in New England during the winter months. Mental depression was passed along to me from my father's side, and I got a the worst of it. The lack of sunlight is simply devastating; it really tears me down.

Work has been very steady, and the shows really good, but not fulfilling beyond a generous paycheck. I do still make a decent living in music, but am considering my options at this point. I no longer enjoy pubs and bar shows; people are so distracted by their phones, TV sports, the latest news, and their cell phones, that there just doesn't seem to be much emphasis on live music anymore. For several years, I had learned to cope with that setback, but as we become further detached from one another as a result of this (what I perceive as) the ugliest times of our lives, I just cannot find justification for continuing in bars.

My focus has been primarily on private functions, where I am hired specifically to bring the classic oldies to an audience anticipating just that. Those do not come about every day however, and I refuse to permeate the media with my name. I have always run my entertainment business as a "cottage industry," flying below the radar and never in thirty-five years, ever handing out a demo tape, CD, or video. I can proudly say that my musical act has sold itself quite well. It seems to me however, that the time for low-key acts has come and gone. If you're not going for the throat, I guess you just get lost in the shuffle. What passes for good music in America has become something of a joke, at least at club level. Mediocrity appears to be the new standard, and entertainment value an afterthought.

I'm not folding up my tent just yet, but damn... I need to consider my options. I always feel comfortable coming here to speak of my career, because I know that the Karma Scene and its creator believe in following their own tack and not trends, and you all appreciate unique and good music and arts. In my particular corner of the world, I feel rather outnumbered by those who flood the market, strive to fill dance floors while sacrificing their integrity, and clamor for work in rooms that are not at all suited for quality listening music.

Enough about me... I hope you're all well, and I sure am glad that spring is on its way. This was a the most difficult of winters. Every year, I find it increasingly difficult to make my life in New England. It seems to have "lost its soul." Though I suppose I could say that for the entire music industry. I am doing my best to hold on and to keep my dignity. There are a handful of fans that still recognize my efforts, however futile it might seem at times.

Oh, and did I say? I STILL miss Wivenhoe. Loved that village, and would love to return.

Best to All,
Jim Hollis
Lost in NH, USA

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