Spring has returned here in East Tennessee and up until this weekend, we were pushing eighty each day. Today the temps are bit cool and the sun keeps peaking in and out of heavy clouds. Last weekend though, I got my first scent of summer. It was my first trip to the Lake and it brought back lots of memories.

Some of the most enjoyable weekends of my youth were spent with my family on the lake. I can still see Old Hickory Lake near Nashville in my mind and my folks, who at the time were avid skiers enjoying the sunshine. Perhaps thats why the lake always leads to good memories for me, but I imagine this next one will be a doozy.

I’d been planning to meet Jared and Lance at Lakeside Marina for several days because we’re hoping to book the band and consider a co-promotion with GoTriCities this summer. Lance was busy last Saturday, but Jared and I made plans to meet around 3 that afternoon. It was such a pretty day, I had to grab me some new sunglasses.

A few weeks ago, we had met Tommy at Halo and he was interested in booking the band for the summer, so we got there shortly after lunch. The scenery at the Marker Two Grill are enjoyable. Of course, the lakes around here are not what I would consider a lake. I grew up in middle Tennessee and Old Hickory and Percy Priest are Tennessee lakes where you can barely see the other side. The Marker 2 Grill sits on Boone and you can see the nice lakeside property across the water, but it’s more like the width of a river than the lakes I recall.

Nevertheless, there’s plenty of open space for boats to make their way out of the marina. Marker 2 Grill is situated on the main entrance into the marina and has two buildings on each side. You can sit in the sun or sit in the shade and watch the girls go by, the corvettes, the SUVs and bright colored boats. I imagine it’s a great place to see everyone’s tan, but it’s still early in the season.

Lakeside is always a great place for a cold beer too and we made our way into the shade and ordered a Fosters and a Red Stripe. That was good enough to explore their menu and they have plenty to offer from appetizers to all kinds of sandwiches, nachos, short-order type stuff that’s a little better than a fast food place, but wow! If you go there, check out their Cuban sandwich – a real delight!

The other thing that deserves recognition of Marker 2 Grill are the girls. There are plenty and Jared bummed a smoke from Nicole. She used to work at Sonny’s Marina in Johnson City and recently took on the job at this marina almost on the other side of the lake and has plenty of entertainment planned for the summer. We talked a little about our music and what hopes she had for the place and we liked what we heard. We certainly hope we can work out a slot on their schedule for June.

In the meantime, a large white van pulled along-side the entrance close to where we were sitting. Some bulky guys started grabbing gear and it was easy to tell they were with the band and I thought we had lots of gear! These guys were dragging out JBL cabinets, a Gibralter  drum rack, Harke Cabinets – they had all the big-name gear including a red Nord. Hey that’s my territory. On top of that, they took a lot of extra time to mike every instrument – which to me – may be a bit too much for such a small stage like this one.

The Juke Box Boys was the name of the band and they were scheduled to play early in the afternoon. We sat through their first set and listened to old rock and roll songs. They played everything from Eagles to Tommy Tutone and even performed an old Paul Revere and the Raiders tune. Not a bad band, but not anything original that I could tell and the room is a bit small up front and at times they were abit too loud for the 5.00 crowd. If we get the chance to play here, we’ll have to tone it down too.

I saw Rachel Strickler basking in the sun with her buddies. She is Danny’s neice and together with her boyfriend Dustin, they were riding the lake with a friend in a new boat. We laughed because they had seven or eight people hanging out of that small craft, but they were having a great time. Jane McCoy was hanging out too – friends of the owner of the club and still shapely after all these years she’s the wife of my friend Terry McCoy and she had her son Jacob with her. It’s strange watching kids like this sprout up. Jane kidded me when I talked about how tall he was and she mentioned that Terry always said, “marrying Jane added a few inches to the McCoy gene pool.” I’m here to correct that – maybe a whole yard!

We left before the band took a break because we both had plenty to do later in the evening including an Electronic Music Show in Johnson City, but I sure hope to play the Marker 2 soon. Although I’ve got plenty of memories of this spot on Boone Lake, I’ve never played the stage with friends and hope to return later in the summer to do just that.