Austin Scaggs & Alex Levy
Founders and Producers of The Best Fest
Austin Scaggs and Alex Levy are founders and producers of The Best Fest, a marketing, promotion, and production company behind successful charitable concerts in tribute to Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Brian Wilson, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, and more. The Fests have been described as "one of the most jubilant events of the year" by The New York Times and have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various national charities since its inception over 15 years ago. Their latest concert event is Dylan Fest Nashville: A Celebration of Bob Dylan's 76th Birthday taking place May 23rd and 24th at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium. Austin and Alex are also members of the Cabin Down Below Band who will serve as the Dylan Fest backing band for over 30 acclaimed artists including Wynonna & The Big Noise, Duane Eddy, Hamilton Leithauser, Shakey Graves, Shooter Jennings, John Paul White, the actor Danny Masterson, Anderson East, Karen Elson, The Whigs, The Texas Gentlemen, and many more. In addition to their work with the Best Fest and the Cabin Down Below Band, Austin has been a contributing editor at Rolling Stone Magazine for the past 20 years where he has written cover stories on Madonna, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z and more while Alex is a 20 year music industry veteran who was previously the Vice President of Promotion for Epic Records. This is Austin Scaggs' Fidelity High: Bob Dylan // John Wesley Harding // Columbia Records // 1967. Austin says, "It’s hard to believe John Wesley Harding was only Dylan’s eighth album. He had already rewritten the folk catalogue, rocked everyone’s socks off with the Hawks. But in 1967, 50 years ago, it took him only three days to create JWH, thanks in large part to the undeniable greatness of his sidemen, Kenny Buttrey on drums and Charlie McCoy on bass. Each lyric is personal and magical and timeless and supremely evocative (“Do not fear... bring that bottle over here.") On the surface, it’s beautiful classic country music, but when you dig deeper you find some of the sexiest, scariest, most vivid and most personal songs he ever recorded." This is Alex Levy's Fidelity High: Bob Dylan // Time Out Of Mind // Columbia Records // 1997. Alex says, "It's impossible for me to pick an absolute all-time favorite Dylan album. I’m a huge fan. Different albums have different meanings to me at different times in my life. Inevitably, when we produce a Dylan Fest show and dive into the catalogue, I get obsessed with an album all over again. Lately it’s Time Out Of Mind, Dylan’s masterpiece from 1997. “Love Sick,” “Standing In The Doorway,” “Tryin’ To Get To Heaven,” “Cold Irons Bound,” “Can’t Wait” and, perhaps one of Dylan’s all time greatest compositions, “Not Dark Yet.” I mean, what a piece of work. Producer Daniel Lanois, also a genius, gives it an otherworldly feeling and a deep rooted traditional feeling all at the same time. It’s a magical album."
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