The Ozone Ramblers

To continue on again as The Ozone Ramblers we had decided to perform 6 piece and this is when Mike Boyer who lived in Illinois was added on Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar & Steel Guitar and also when we met and included Lonzo "Tex" Stephenson from Lubbock Texas on Lead and Harmony Vocals, Electric and Acoustic guitars. So the lineup for The Ozone Ramblers in January of 1980 is shown in the photo on this page, Clockwise from top left:

Ned Francis on Acoustic & Electric Guitars, 5 string Banjo and Lead & Harmony Vocals
Fred Scherer on Drums and Percussion
Dennis Baxter on Electric and Acoustic Bass guitars and Lead & Harmony Vocals
Bronson Herrmuth on Electric Fiddle, Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonicas and Lead & Harmony vocals
Mike Boyer on Acoustic Guitar & Steel Guitar/Dobro and Lead Vocals
Lonzo Stephenson on Acoustic & Electric Guitars and Lead & Harmony Vocals

This is also when Johann Klaussen entered Ozone Rambler History. The band was musically ready to play now on a National basis and we knew it, we just didn't have any way to "get there" literally. We needed PA equipment, Stage Lights, and Transportation for us and all of this equipment (we didn't have) and it all had to be new enough to be reliable and "Road Ready". Johann helped us find and buy our Winnebago in Burlington, Iowa, and then we drove it to Chicago, Illinois and he helped us buy all of our PA speakers, custom built for us to order right from the factory floor. From there we drove to Iowa City, Iowa and bought Mics, Stands, Lights, Cords, Power Amps, moniter speakers and a Mixing Console. We also drove to Elkhart, Indiana during this period and bought a 16' Wells Cargo trailer. We were ready and we went on the road immediately! Johann had become our Financial Backer, Soundman and traveling companion. He helped The Ozone Ramblers a bunch when we really needed it and I will never forget it.

After several months of non stop touring Johann decided to come off the road. It was then that we found Chino while performing at a nightclub in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. He had just completed a World tour with Donny & Marie Osmond as Road Manager and was in between tours. Chino had ran an Ad in a music trade magazine and I saw it and called him. He agreed to come to our show that night to check us out. We were leaving for Vail, Colorado, the very next morning for a two week engagement so this all happened very quickly. We were very fortunate that night, Chino accepted and he became our Soundman, Lightman, head of Security and Road Manager.

This was the band that went to Nashville to record with Legendary Steel Guitar player and record Producer Pete Drake.

The Ozone Ramblers arrived in Nashville February of 1981 to record with Pete Drake and we recorded and released an all original 4 song EP and also a 45rpm single release from those recording sessions. Al Pachuci was the engineer, Randy Best was second engineer. In addition to The Ozone Ramblers, the great Pig Robbins (CMA Musician of the Year 2000) played keyboards and Jimmy Crawford played Steel Guitar. The sessions were held at Pete's Place Recording Studio in Nashville and this is also the first time we met and worked with Johnny Drake. Shown here is the cover of that first EP release produced by Pete Drake. When someone purchased one of these EP's they also got a full size poster of the cover included inside the record sleeve. All original artwork was created by our good friend and Ft. Madison, Iowa native, Danny Juarez.

Click here to download "Ol' New Orleans" mp3
written by N. Herrmuth,
produced by Pete Drake and published by Window Music, BMI
Recorded by The Ozone Ramblers on these first Nashville recording sessions and our first official release on our own record label, Catfish Dancin' Records.

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