Digging the sound

The Dig Inn’s Record Store Day in Reinbeck

The Dig Inn owner Ben Robertson, center, is hard at work. PHOTO BY MICHAEL D. DAVIS

REINBECK — The beer was flowing, the music was ripping, and Purple Rain was playing on the TV behind the bar. It was last Saturday, April 22, at The Dig Inn over in Reinbeck; locals from all over Tama and Grundy counties flooded the little bar and record shop.

It was Record Store Day, an event celebrated all around the world by vinyl lovers. A groovin’ bash for fans wanting to honor one of music’s most revered mediums. people milled about The Dig Inn sifting through boxes and shelves of records, trying to find the album that pops and grinds along with the beat of their hearts.

Ben Robertson has operated The Dig Inn for three and a half years now, making this the third Record Store Day in Reinbeck. Hailing from Chicago, Ben moved to the area back in 2018. The Dig Inn opened after Ben saw the building sitting vacant. “I love records, I like beer,” Ben stated on the origin of the idea for the store.

On Saturday, if you swam your way through the sea of people to the open back area, you would’ve been greeted with live music. Trevor Schellhorn, who was the previous owner of the building back when it was Broad Street Brewing, was the opening act. Trevor kicked off the day by playing covers of songs by the band Talking Heads. He was just the first locally based musician in a lineup that included some great rockers from the area. Unpolished Jams, Garage Daze, and Guss Royall provided the headbanging tunes for most of the day. Another group rocked the stage before night’s end, The Dig Inn’s owner’s own band, Special Guest.

For those local teetotalers that weren’t much into music, there was another attraction at The Dig Inn, making sure a good time was had. I am talking about none other than All About Cheesesteaks. The food truck sat out front serving up sweet smelling Philly Cheesesteaks for all around.

One of the many live bands that rocked out. PHOTO BY MICHAEL D. DAVIS

Although the spring day had a chill to it, the crowd at The Dig Inn was not deterred. No one seemed to care as they walked around in their sweatshirts looking through Elvis and Zepplin reprints. “Drink a little more, dance a little more,” Ben said about the attitude of the people.

Record Store Day is one of The Dig Inn’s busiest of the year; all of Ben’s staff is on deck, helping out, including high schooler Jayla Hemann. Jayla is the first employee of the record side of The Dig Inn Records and Beer. Whether it is organizing the new vinyl or making sure everything is looking spick and span, this young music lover does it all.

However, if you are searching for that wax circle that spins all the mellow sounds that you haven’t heard since your teenage years left you by, then it is Ben you want. The man knows his music well, no matter the genre or decade. “This is a judge free zone,” Ben remarked about how The Dig Inn caters to all, from the lowly country fan to the groups that worship rock and roll.

Open Wednesday through Sunday for anyone needing a beer or looking for a record with a beat that’ll get your butt shakin’. And, if you missed this year’s Record Store Day bash over at The Dig Inn or if you went and had a killer time make sure to pop back around next year. Ben doesn’t know what the plan will be yet, but you know it will be cool.

People having fun at The Dig Inn, while checking out the records. PHOTO BY MICHAEL D. DAVIS