Grateful Gary,  9pm to midnight (Pavilion)


Shanty Irish, 5pm to 7pm (Cooters)
The Nighthawks, 9pm to midnight (Pavilion)


Tinderbox Circus Sideshow, 6:30pm to 8:30pm (Pavilion)
Black Masala, 9pm to midnight (Pavilion)


Johnny Staats Project, 2pm to 5pm (Riverstage)
Buzzz City, ?pm to ?pm (Pavilion)

The Nighthawks

Known as the “Bad Boys of Bethesda”, The Nighthawks are a storied blues band and a huge “get” for us for a soulful OTR 2018 Friday night. The band opened many doors and forged many touring routes for their contemporaries, including the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Stevie Ray Vaughan, George Thorogood and Robert Cray, and played with as many Blues and Rockabilly legends as they could. They opened show after show for Muddy Waters, James Cotton and Carl Perkins, and backed up and recorded with John Hammond and Pinetop Perkins. Former members include guitar wizards Jimmy Thackery and Warren Haines.  When Mark Stutso, master of the deep groove, joined The Nighthawks at the beginning of 2010, the 21st-century version of the legendary American roots band was complete. With Paul Bell and Johnny Castle in the band for over a decade, and founding father Mark Wenner the remaining original, this team outshines all previous incarnations. The Nighthawks are coming to OTR as “returning heroes” having played for us decades ago, and indeed are VERY much looking forward to jammin’ for us once again on the Pavilion Stage Friday night.

Check out a sample here!

Tinderbox Circus Sideshow

How about some Saturday after dinner entertainment? In the Pavilion, Saturday Sept 1, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, we will be presenting the Tinderbox Circus Sideshow!

What is Tinderbox Circus Sideshow? An all-american classic circus sideshow, combining timeless acts of shock and amazement with a punk rock presentation, and a dirty south attitude. The result is a uniquely modern experience; unlike anything else in today’s entertainment industry! Tinderbox Circus Sideshow is one of the last remaining “ten-in-ones” in the country. Bringing you the best of both classic 20th century and modern 21st century sideshow, Captain Darron von Awesome (The Existential Extraordinaire, Sword Swallower Deluxe & Pain-Proof Man) and Trashique (The Burlesque Anomaly & Mistress of Lift) have created the most mind-blowingly devilish backwoods troupe from the ground up. Bringing the “freakish” to OTR 2018’s Steampunk weekend, Tinderbox Circus Sideshow will alter your perception of reality with the macabre and unfathomable. Start your outrageous Saturday evening at the Pavilion with your mouth agape when Tinderbox Circus Sideshow offers to keep, as always, your OTR experience both weird and entertaining.

Check out their video here.

Black Masala

Saturday Night band is booked and ready to rock the main Pavilion!
Brassy Washington DC-based outfit, Black Masala, is part of the new generation of go-anywhere brass bands. You can hear this sound all over the world now – from New Orleans (Hot 8) to Belgrade (Boban & Marko Markovic), Paris (Fanfarai) to Cotonou (Gangbe Brass Band), and right here on the east coast area as well (Red Baraat & No BS! Brass). “Sure, having an album that can stand the test of time is important, but so is exhibiting that piece of work onstage. Black Masala is your gypsy carnival circus of music that knows no limits of genre. You are rocking out, grooving like you would to funk music, yet you feel like you may be at some ska gypsy punk show, and you become overwhelmed with their uncanny stage presence. Their music must be experienced in person to fully understand this band and that is what makes them so much fun. You won’t be served soft underhand pitches of predictable songs and setlist structure. Instead, you’ll probably find a Sousaphone standing next to you in the crowd while Kristen Long reaches deep into your soul with her powerful vocals.” – Live Music Daily. Black Masala will be putting the “steam” in your “punk” at the Pavilion OTR Saturday night!

Check out a sample here.

Shanty Irish


The Shanty Irish Band consists of several friends who enjoy making traditional Irish folk music similar to what one would hear in ‘singing pubs’ scattered throughout Ireland. Much of their music dates from the 18th and 19th centuries and tells tales of fighting and revolution, love, and the wonders of poitin and porter (whisky and beer). The not-for-profit group can be coerced to play for noble (and not-so-noble) causes. Several band members are long-time TRA members and hope to bring a wee little bit of Ireland into your OTR.

Visit them on Facebook!

Grateful Gary

Grateful Gary (aka Gary Gibula) is a caver, musician and sound engineer from the Chicago area. He leads a hippie band called ‘Magic Bus’, which has a repertoire of over 600 songs (specialty: Grateful Dead). Gary has brought live music to numerous other caver events like NSS Convention, Kentucky Speleofest, MVOR and previous OTRs. As a caver, Gary is a NSS Life Member, he chairs the Sub-Urban Chicago Grotto and is assistant copy editor of the NSS News. He also put together this year’s OTR Guidebook! Grateful Gary’s solo-acoustic performance Thursday will feature Woodstock-era retro tunes like Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Donovan and Crosby Stills & Nash. Gary’s Saturday afternoon performance at Cooters will feature lots of Bob Dylan and acoustic ‘folky’ songs. When he’s not performing, you’ll see GG at the controls of the sound booth for the rest of the weekend as he’s a fully-qualified audio engineer.

Visit him at and

The Johnny Staats Project

A true bluegrass legend and string-player virtuoso, Johnny Staats will be bringing his Johnny Staats Project to the Riverstage Sunday afternoon.  Featuring Rick Poling on keys and vocals and Roger Bush on drums and vocals, the JSP will amply show the rockin’ and rollin’ side of this West Virginia bluegrass music icon.  The Johnny Staats Project seeks to explore, create and perform multiple genres of music beyond the bluegrass he regularly performs with Johnny Staats and The Delivery Boys (his superlative five-piece bluegrass group who appeared at OTR 2017). Johnny has appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show,” CNN shows including “Larry King Live,” the CBS Evening News, CMT Country Music Television, as well as on numerous iconic national programs and stages (including the Grand Ole Opry five times).  He has been featured in People Magazine, Country Music Magazine, the New York Times, the Austin Chronicle, Bluegrass Today, and various other national and regional publications.  Be sure to chill out in the river when OTR presents the one and only Johnny Staats and the Johnny Staats Project on Riverstage Sunday afternoon.

Check out a sample of them here

Buzzz City

Buzzz City is a loose confederation of caver-musicians who have played group performances for years at OTR. They formerly played at their campsite, at Cooters or wherever they could. In recent years, Buzzz City began performing at the First Aid Station as a thank-you for the medical care they provide. They started the ‘Band-Aid’ (get it?) fundraiser eight years ago after asking how they could further help. Buzzz City performed at the Pavilion last year, and the band was a big hit (not to mention the money raised for the First Aid Station)! This year’s performance will be the same –immediately following the Sunday awards ceremony at the Pavilion, and once again a benefit to help purchase medical supplies. You’ll hear lots of good old-timey songs, including their crowd favorite, The OTR Anthem!