The ad certainly didn’t hurt Shelley Luther’s cover band

La Mode salon owner Shelley Luther, who defied a county order to shut her Dallas store during the pandemic, recently stood in front of more than 100 people, unnerving them. That day, May 9, she was at Dealey Plaza headlining an Open Texas rally. She shared the mic with people like former Texas Senate member Don Huffines, and former Florida congressman Allen West and a doctor from Texas who have bragged about prescribing hydroxychloroquine to COVID-patients. 19.

Luther opened up about her short jail term for contempt of court and what she would do with the $ 500,000 raised by a GoFundMe campaign set up by one of his supporters.

Months ago, before the pandemic put the world on hiatus, Luther was doing more or less the same thing. Except she hadn’t been to jail yet. She didn’t have half a million dollars in the bank and she didn’t surround herself with conservative political leaders. She wasn’t really political at all, actually. She sang to packed houses at places like The Tipsy Oak in Arlington and Marty B’s in Bartonville with her band Crush.

The group, which Luther formed with his boyfriend Tim Georgeff, liked to keep busy. The two started Crush after performing together in another local band. Georgeff says Luther always loved to sing. She started singing karaoke, but eventually people started asking her to sing in different bands in North Texas. According to the Crush website, they were booked until December as a live karaoke band at Sidecar Social in Dallas.

Crush was a good money maker for Georgeff and Luther.

Starting at $ 300, you can book only both. For an additional $ 200, you can book them with a bassist. And from $ 1,200, you can book the whole group. They came equipped with a repertoire of all styles of music from the 1950s to today, and they always responded to requests.

Between the band, her A la Mode salon, and a makeup business she had next door, Luther was honestly making a living. But, when the pandemic broke, all that money stopped coming in. Luther closed his living room on March 22, and by that time many of the band’s concerts had been canceled. Georgeff says those shows included several large private parties, weddings, long-term casino dates and performances across the country.

“Since the first day [the salon] was closed, we started to ask for unemployment. We started to apply for [Economic Injury Disaster Loans] and [Paycheck Protection Program] ready, and we got no help, ”Georgeff said in a live Facebook broadcast. “Between the two of us and our different businesses, we applied for four… different loans.

Luther says she called the Texas Workforce Commission about 500 times a day to no avail. Georgeff said they eventually started considering getting night jobs stocking shelves at Kroger, but decided not to because it could have hurt their chances of getting unemployment benefits.

The two were at a crossroads. If Luther opened her living room, she would defy the orders put in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. If she kept the living room closed, she claims she couldn’t have fed her children.

“I just asked him ‘When is your record coming out? I need to know your publicist’s name.’” – Rob Case, owner of Fiddle & Bow Music Co.

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“We can no longer live our lives stranded in a house that does not work, does not provide for our families,” said Georgeff. “Shelley had three sources of income: she owns a salon, she’s a professional makeup artist and she’s a singer. You want to take the three things that give her identity and take them away? I think that makes you a horrible person.”

Now almost everyone knows what she has decided to do. She opened her salon on April 24. In the previous weeks, Luther had appeared in various media to tell the world that she was going to open.

The day before the opening, the same day Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins sent him a cease and desist letter, a GoFundMe campaign was launched in support of Luther. Some have claimed that opening her salon was part of a get-rich-quick scheme. But Warren Norred, one of his lawyers, says that’s not the case.

“It was put together by a supporter of the cause [who] didn’t know Shelley and didn’t know me. I have only had one communication with this person yet, “says Norred.” This account that she set it all up and it was a big scam is completely unfounded and is a pure lie. and simple. ”

Some have also speculated that it was all a big publicity stunt for the group.

Rob Case, the owner of Fiddle & Bow Music Co., which is adjacent to Luther’s living room, challenged the gathering of his unmasked and gun-armed supporters outside his store. Case was never able to speak with Luther, but one day he made his way through the supporters to the living room and spoke with Georgeff. They spoke for about 10 minutes, Case says.

“I just asked him ‘When is your record coming out? I need to know your publicist’s name,'” Case said, recalling the conversation. “‘If you don’t have a song ready for that, I have about two that I can lend you.'”

Crush doesn’t release original music (not yet, anyway) and some of their recent social media posts have supported some of the venues they previously performed. However, on May 4, the group published an article saying they had recently booked seven more dates for 2020.

The next day, Luther will appear before Judge Eric Moyé. You may have seen the hearing because Norred fought for it to be streamed live on the 14th District Court’s YouTube channel. The video has since been deleted.

That same week, Luther received $ 18,000 in P3 loans. She said the money had just been deposited into her account without notice or instructions on how to use it. Additionally, since the salon’s stylists are seen as tenants rather than employees, Georgeff said the PPP money couldn’t be used to pay them off without having to pay it back.

Moyé gave Luther the opportunity to apologize and admit that she had acted selfishly in deciding to open her living room.

Luther replied, “I would like to say that I have great respect for this court and the laws and that I have never been in this position before and this is not a place I want to be. But I am. disagree with you, sir, when you say I’m selfish because feeding my children is not selfish. I have hairdressers who are hungry because they prefer to feed their children. So sir, if you think that the law is more important that children feed, so please go ahead with your decision, but I’m not going to close the show. ”

She was sentenced to two separate seven-day prison terms for being found in contempt of court and defying stay-at-home orders. The next day, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called for her immediate release. The next day, she was released from prison.

Since then, Luther and Georgeff have been on a media circuit, appearing on View and talk with experts like Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro and others. They have also traveled from state to state to speak at rallies like the one in Dealey Plaza earlier this month. Luther’s supporters now call her a modern-day Rosa Parks.

This probably isn’t the last you’ll hear from Shelley Luther. She recently started a nonprofit called the Courage to Stand Foundation to help businesses pay their bills during the pandemic. But, when all is said and done, there will probably be a lot more gigs for Luther and Georgeff and their band Crush.

Georgeff says they are awaiting the reopening of the casinos and the big venues they perform in and will resume scheduling shows when the agencies that represent those venues start booking.

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