Live in the Vineyard
Prairie Moon Winery, located just north of Ames, has been doing summer concerts for who knows how long: The Live in the Vineyard Summer Concert Series every Sunday afternoon from 3-6 p.m. It’s one of those events I think about attending all the time, telling myself I should go out there and see what it’s like, but there’s always something more pressing — like laundry — to do on Sunday afternoon. Or it’s raining. Or it’s 105 degrees. There’s always something.
Yesterday afternoon I finally went. I really did not know what I was missing. The broad lawn behind the winery’s main building is set up with chairs and little tables and umbrellas — and you have a great view of the vineyard. Your $3 admission gets you a delicious glass of sangria — and you can buy glasses (and bottles) of Prairie Moon wine, bottles of micro-brewed beer, great Frisian Farms gouda cheese and crackers, and a few other food items. (No outside alcohol is allowed on the property, but guests are encouraged to bring a picnic.)
I wasn’t sure I’d like the band that was playing yesterday: The Dang Its from Madison, Wis. To start with, the name seemed awfully silly. And the Summer Concert Series flyer described the band as “American/Swing.” After watching them perform, I’d say they’re more country/bluegrass with a little rockabilly thrown in. They played some original songs, plus covers I recognized from Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline.
I really liked the group — three singer/musicians who took turns on lead vocals and played electric guitars, acoustic guitar, banjo, and bass. Apparently they also have a drummer who was not with them, but I didn’t miss him a bit. I loved the group’s vocals and friendly banter between songs. Jami Lampkins was especially fun to watch.
I had such a good time I’d like to go back again before the season ends. Here’s the rest of the lineup:
- Sept. 9: Erick Hovey, blues
- Sept. 16: Dave Zollo, indy/roots
- Sept. 30: Highway Home, bluegrass
Prairie Moon is located at 3801 W. 190th Street, Ames. The easiest way to tell you how to get there is to take Grand Ave. (AKA Hwy. 69) all the way north, past North Grand Mall, past Ada Hayden Heritage Park, to 190th Street and turn left.