Karl is a cynical, melodramatic, mildly paranoid, professional-engineer-cum-musician in the throes of a midlife crisis. Growing up on a farm in the post Woodstock Midwest, coming of age in The City as Disco rose and Punk fell, passing his prime in The Suburbs as a family guy and director of the band Karl and Kooltones, music is the common thread of Karl’s journey. His art imitates his life as he transitions from relatively innocent youth playing tuba in a small time polka band, to rebellious heavy metal guitarist achieving not-enough-to-quit-the-day-job success, to fading middle aged lounge singer still on a Don Quixote like quest to keep the dream alive. But the thread is unraveling. His third wife and true soul mate has died, he is hopelessly caught in the corporate meat grinder, and the band is sadly floundering. Karl and the Kooltones is a story of inglorious struggle, of overcoming personal setbacks to achieve lofty goals in the face of countless, faceless conspiracies. It is a story of failure, as the large majority of creative people endeavoring to “make it” with their chosen art understand, but it is also a story of hope. Hope that perseverance prevails and The Big Break catapults you to fame and fortune before you’re too old to enjoy it. Hope that when the break doesn’t come, when the conspiracies become more than pipe dreams, and when one’s mortality is realized, something unexpected will show itself. Hope that a lifetime of chasing The Feel, that spiritual uplift and elation that occurs when a live band and audience achieve harmonic convergence, wasn’t in vain.