Memorable quotes (or “Shit my dad said at rehearsals”)

My father, James D. Bolle (1931 – 2019), was a conductor, composer and musical director (Monadnock Music, New Hampshire Symphony). He also had, shall we say, a unique way with words, particularly at rehearsals. (One time a string section was struggling with some parts, the next day he placed flowers on their music stands, with cards that read: “Get better soon.”)

After his recent passing we found a variety of interesting artifacts (a file drawer labeled: “Letters to assholes”). We also found a collection of his quotes from him at rehearsals, collected by a flutist and long-time friend, Ellie Preble. I thought I would share some here in the coming months.

“That’s the Tasha Sidel version. (You don’t even know who he is; it’s an insult).)

Boston CD release party: 9/27

We’re pleased to announce the Boston area CD release party for Box 1: Friday, September 27th at The Lilypad, 1353 Cambridge St. (Inman Square), Cambridge, MA. Tickets available in advance through Eventbrite or at the door.

The show will feature the full band lineup playing cuts from “Box 1”, as well as a wide variety of instrumentally oriented music, a veritable smorgasbord of musical styles. “Box 1” is available for purchase or download at CD Baby and all major outlets.

North Shore CD release party: 8/29

Join us Thursday, 8/29, for our North hore release party at Capone’s Restaurant, Summit Ave, in Peabody. (Right off 128/95). The MJM trio is graciously allowing us to play a set at their long running Thursday night jam. Capone’s is a great venue for live music with an excellent dinner menu. We’ll have the full “Mean Old Fireman & the Cruel Engineers” band on hand. We count off the first tune at 8PM.

We’re excited to have Joey Pafumi available while he’s taking a brief break from his on-going tour with The Paul Nelson Band. Given everyone that Joey has worked with, you never know who might show up. We recommend that you show up, too.

What they are saying about Box 1

For musicians, there are many things that bring satisfaction. Playing lives, you get to see and feel the audience response and it’s always immediately gratifying. With a recording, you record the tracks, put it together, engineer and produce it to sound the way you want. And then you wait.
“Box 1” was over 14 months in the making, from basic tracks to release. Now it’s out and only now do I get feedback on this project. It is especially gratifying to hear from those whose opinions I respect and Michael Slotboom, of Armadillo Guitar certainly sits squarely in that category.
M1 walnut
“M1” custom T-Type with knobs, switch tip and compensated bridge by Armadillo Guitar

Michael has been making custom guitar parts for builders and nationally known musicians for many years out of his shop in Austin, Texas. I’ve used the his parts on numerous builds and always with great results. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him at gigs, as well as at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis earlier this year. Needless to say, when I got this email from Michael, it made my day.

Continue reading “What they are saying about Box 1”

Cover art

I’ve received numerous compliments on the cover art on Box 1. I would be completely remiss if I did not publicly thank Cindy Regan of Cindy Regan Design. Cindy is an old friend who does incredible work. She’s got “mad skills” on both the creative and technical aspects of design.

I had a few rough Ideas I had sent her. She fired back several…all excellent. The very last one was of a fire alarm pull station. As soon as I saw it, the gears started turning: A call box! Cindy replied that was her idea, but that she didn’t have a photo. The sun was still up, but heading down fast. I jumped into some flip flops, grabbed my camera and ran out to the corner of my street to get the image of the Gamewell box that is now on the cover. Cindy did the rest. Yes. The title came from the image, not the other way around.

Thanks Cindy!


Box 1 now available!

Download Box 1 by Mean Old Fireman & the Cruel Engineers


The long-awaited CD from Mean Old Fireman & the Cruel Engineers, is out. Spanning genres and pushing beyond the horizon, Box 1 features 11 tracks, from blues classics high energy originals. Follow Slide Guitarist Ned Bolle as he takes you on a musical odyssey, from the East to the West, from the Delta to the Mountains and everywhere in between!

Download Box 1 by Mean Old Fireman & the Cruel Engineers

“Box 1” set to drop 8/1/2019


“Box 1”, the debut album by Mean old fireman & the cruel engineers is scheduled for release August 1st. Musically, it spans the spectrum from blues jazz rock fusion with some rock and meth-grass thrown in for good measure. The single “Mean Old Fireman” is available for download now at Mean Old Fireman single – CD Baby (as well iTunes/Apple Music, Amazon and all major outlets, as well as streaming services.

“On your Marc” will be available in advance (7/25) on iTunes. The full album will be available (download and CD) August 1st. (Cover art by Cindy Regan Design)