Jimbo Mathus, Gone to the Dogs Fest and Arcade wedding celebration


Jimbo Mathus and the Squirrel Nut Zippers performed at the Levitt Shell - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Jimbo Mathus and the Squirrel Nut Zippers performed at the Levitt Shell

The Squirrel Nut Zippers played Levitt Shell for the first time on July 8, but lead singer/co-founder Jimbo Mathus played at the venue many times.

He played with his own group, Jimbo Mathus, and tribute shows for the late Jim Dickinson.

“It’s a beautiful venue,” said Mathus. “So much history. I love the whole band shell style. It’s one place Memphis really comes together.”

Mathus, a Fat Possum recording artist/producer living in Oxford, also loves the lighting and sound and the “all ages aspect and the free aspect” of Levitt Shell.

“It’s one of the best places to play if not THE best in Memphis. The staff is fantastic. Just a good family environment.”

The Squirrel Nut Zippers has been revived and currently is on tour, Mathus said. The group also has a new album, “Beasts of Burgundy,” coming out in January. The music is “cabaret, vaudeville, swing, burlesque and jazz,” he said. “Same energy, but a higher level of performance.”

Also debuting at the Levitt Shell were “Booze Pops,” which sounds like a music group, but they’re actually an alcohol-added version of Mempops.

“They’re pretty much frozen drinks on a stick with alcohol in them,” said Mempops founder Chris Taylor. “We use a lot of the same ingredients we use for Mempops, but we add alcohol - rum, vodka, tequila and bourbon depending on what we’re making.”

On hand during the Squirrel Nut Zippers show were “Blueberry Mojito” with rum, “Roasted Peach and Bourbon,” “Strawberry Margarita” with tequila and the “Moscow Mule” with vodka. More flavors will be available, Taylor said.

Each pop is “give or take five percent alcohol,” Taylor said. “As much alcohol as in a beer. So, only a four-ounce serving. If you’re going to get drunk off those, you’re going to have to be dedicated.”


Eagle Claw at Gone to the Dogs Fest 3. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Eagle Claw at Gone to the Dogs Fest 3.

Gone to the Dogs Fest 3 was their most successful festival, said event founder Shawn Mullins. The music festival, held July 6 to 9 at Growlers, raised between $3,000 and $4,000 for Streetdog Foundation, Mullins estimated. “We raised more than the last two combined.”

The festival, which featured 13 bands, was based on the old Memphis Hates You Fest, said Mullins, who “didn’t really have anything to do” with that festival. “It was basically a local showcase for bands people didn’t feel like got a lot of attention.”

That festival “fell through,” but people wanted to bring it back. Mullins didn’t want to bring it back the way it was. “Something like that wouldn’t work unless it was for a good cause, so we re-tooled it.”

Dogs sounded perfect. “My wife and I have been rescuing dogs for a while and we love dogs. It seemed like the next logical step was to attach the two things we cared about.”

This year’s festival featured “mostly metal bands, but Saturday afternoon got a little more family friendly with indie rock. But I think it’s safe to say all the bands are on the heavy side. Mostly metal bands.”

Growlers manager Jonathan Kiersky will be more involved with the upcoming Gone to the Dogs festival, Mullins said. “One of the first things he spoke to me about after he got his foot in the door was, ‘Let’s do Gone to the Dogs again and do it every year. Let’s make it a consistent thing.’”

Said Kiersky: “Anything we can do to support the community, we as a company feel strongly about. The other thing is that I love dogs.”

Kiersky’s dog, Fezzik, attended Saturday night’s show.

Melanie Pafford, who, along with her husband, Kent, are founders of Streetdog Foundation, was pleased with the response. “I went all four nights,” she said. “The people who attended were all dog lovers and have an affinity for dogs. We had a donation bucket. They already paid to come in and they were very generous about wanting to donate.”

They also would “come up and talk to us about dogs,” she said.

Describing Streetdog Foundation (streetdogfoundation.com), Melanie said, “We take the worst of the worst dogs off the street. Our mission is to get dogs off the street - rescue, rehabilitate and re-home.”

Streetdog Foundation’s biggest fundraiser, “Howl at the Moon,” will be Nov. 11 at The Warehouse off South Main.


Kelcie and Jeffrey Zepatos at Arcade - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Kelcie and Jeffrey Zepatos at Arcade

The fourth generation of the Arcade Restaurant owners and his wife celebrated their recent marriage with a party July 7 at the restaurant, which is billed as “Memphis’s oldest cafe.”

Jeffrey Zepatos and the former Kelcie Beharelle were married June 17 on the beach in Santa Rosa, Florida. The bride wore a blush pink gown and a white veil with a rose gold crown and the groom wore a white button up and gray vest and gray suit pants. “We were barefoot,” Jeffrey said. “Very casual.”

Relatives and friends threw the Memphis party, Jeffrey said. “We just wanted to have a celebration on South Main, really,” he said. “Have all our friends from South Main, Downtown and Memphis celebrate with us. A destination wedding made it tricky. Basically, we wanted to come back here and do something fun with everybody else.”

Jeffrey's great-grandfather, Speros Zepatos, opened the Arcade in 1919, Jeffrey said.


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