Kat Falcey is one of those die-hard music fans who often wind up working in the music industry. Her company, Tunes2Ya, helps artists with networking, promotion, public relations, booking referrals, and more. She’s returning to AmericanaFest in Nashville for the first time since the pandemic hit and has three of her New Jersey artists (Arlan Feiles, Mike Montrey, and Carmen Sclafani) booked for a show at The Basement on Tuesday, September 13th at 8:00pm.
AmericanaFest runs from September 13-17 and attracts music fans and music industry professionals alike, offering five days of celebration through seminars, panels and networking opportunities by day and raw, intimate showcases each night.
New Jersey Stage reached out to Kat to learn more about the festival and the artists she’s bringing from the Garden State to Nashville. It’s a show she’s calling JerseyCana.
Tell me about what you’ve got planned for Americanafest.
I’ve been attending Americanafest (AMA) since 2006. I enjoy volunteering and I’ve worked the Registration Desk at the Hub Hotels-stuffed thousands of AMA Goody Bags; Greeter for Daily AMA Label Showcase Luncheons; Worked with music panels-assisted behind the scenes at the Ryman Auditorium; Hosted Musical Showcase Luncheons for The Canadian, Australia-UK Artists. Packed-in, Packed-out. I’m looking forward to cheering on two artists from my musical roster this year for the very first time during the AMA’s.
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How is the Americanafest atmosphere compared to a regular show?
The atmosphere during the AMA’s is filled with Worldwide Music Industry Contacts. There is music everywhere you turn. Over 150 Artists with every musical venue filled daily and into the night with Official Music Showcases, in hotels, restaurants, music venues, rooftops, parks and the Ryman Auditorium (The Mother Church)
Usually artists are out and about and mingling before and after shows. I saw a t-shirt that said, “A Tourist Town with a Drinking problem A Drinking Town with a Tourist Problem.” However everyone gets along and music brings everyone together.
Is it a challenge booking shows for that time period in Nashville?
YES – almost every music venue is booked with AMA Official acts. You can Pay to Play; however most artists cannot afford that option. I’m still looking for any opening I can fill. And I’ve been at it since March.
This will be your first trip to Nashville since the pandemic. What did you miss most about it?
I miss my friends from all over the world. We get to hug and dance and share our love of music. I have friends in California, that I look forward to seeing every year. And my UK and Canadian Friends. And I am always meeting new people and networking on behalf of every artist I represent and promote.
You’ve worked with two of the artists on the bill (Arlan Feiles and Mike Montrey) for a very long time. What is it about those two that you really like?
I met Arlan Feiles at the Triumph Brewing in Princeton, filling in for Rick Barry. I was drawn by his sound,style and vibe. He can perform solo and can even kick it up to a full orchestra, which I have enjoyed many times in the past. The emotion and creative lyrics along with the piano make for magical moments that only Arlan can deliver.
Arlan has had a successful music career from Los Ángeles to Miami and from Boston to the Jersey Shore. His sound is not only catchy, I feel it has a worldly vibe about one we can all relate too.
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Mike Montrey and I also go way back. I might have also first met him at the Triumph in Princeton. I had heard a lot about his music with his band at the time, Water.
Then I saw him perform solo and his guitar style blew me away. I’ve booked MMB from NJ to Asheville N.C. NJ-Colorado-California. SXSW, The Viper Room in Los Ángeles and Blue Plate Special at WDVX in Knoxville and so much more. They enjoy being on the road and meeting new fans.
The Mike Montrey Band at the Boiler Room in Congress Hall, Cape May
How proud are you of their careers?
I’ve watched them both evolve from single guys to dads. And I’ve witnessed how this has affected their music and the growth they both have endured. They both have a lot of Passion and Dedicated Drive. They have a Magical Magnetic Force about them that pulls you in to them with their lyrics, style sound and vibe. They get me dancin’.
What would you absolutely love to see happen for them? Anything specific?
With Arlan, I want him to be cast in a Broadway Show. One that he might even write sing and star in.
More Music Videos that keep people thinking in the direction of Peace. Equality and Justice for all. If Arlan ever runs for office he would get my vote. He would get the job done with knowledge kindness and song!
Much more Touring across the World. Grammy in the future.
With Mike Montrey, I would like to see him open for a National Act. I would like to see him jamming in front of a huge audience with his son Jack, someday on drums. Would be great for him to be once again nominated for a Grammy and WIN!
How difficult is it to be involved in music promotion for many years – a job that generally is more work than reward?
I’ve had a Passion my entire life assisting others. I spent 17 years in the Hotel-Travel-Tourism Hospitality Business. I have been a true music lover since the age of 9, listening to my brothers albums. I have always been a people oriented person who enjoys networking with others. It isn’t easy and I’m always busy researching reading and staying on top of what’s happening. The Reward IS when others are Happy. For someone to take the time and respond to my emails, seldom happens however it just points me in a different direction.
You gotta have HOPE along with respect and trust from the artists you promote and represent. If Plan A doesn’t work , then I work my way down the alphabet till I’m able to nail something. Often times I network with contacts who are friends and we have built a musical relationship through the years where we assist each other. And often I am ping ponging back in forth just for one booking. It’s diligence and timing All the Time.
I’d like to mention, Carmen Sclafani, Wiser Time. I met Carmen last year at the Wonder Bar through Arlan. He has taught me a lot about Music Distribution.
Jim Lauderdale, Arlan Feiles, and Carmen Sclafani
I’ve always been on the side of promoting an artist with bookings and socially through media and music outlet platforms however I never delved into ALL the outlets musicians should have their songs placed. As of March 2022, we have joined forces and are working together as a team to assist artists with Digital Distribution. New music from Carmen out soon.
Finally, what do you hope artists get from your support?
My passion is assisting artists achieve their Goals. We work together as a team. I am selective with the artists I represent. I enjoy the natural organic ways music brings us together.
I call it, Stumble In. Back in 2006, I walked into a dark music venue underneath Grimey’s Record Store. I began chatting with the sound guy. Turns out it was Michael Jude Grimes, co- owner of the Basement. Every single year I visit this venue and to have both Arlan Feiles and the Mike Montrey Band get to perform on Tuesday, September 13 at 8:00pm (CDT) at the Basement (OG) for New Faces Night… is something I look forward too. And I want to thank Mike for his confidence in me and my artists. We HOPE to pack the place!
Kat with Michael Jude Grimes in 2006
Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.