Carly Tefft has sung the National Anthem dozens of times. No listener ever reported feeling “threatened” by the spunky red-headed singer-songwriter when she sang the Star-Spangled Banner at the Boston Marathon, Fenway Park or TD Garden.
Tefft, a graduate of Berklee College of Music in 2015, recently moved to Nashville to pursue her career in music. A Cape Cod native, Tefft still sees Massachusetts as her home. She’s been called a “phenomenon” by the Boston Globe and was also praised by Matty in the Morning on Kiss 108.
But after singing the national anthem at an event hosted by a certain former president, Carly Tefft’s performances were cancelled at Harvest Gallery in Dennis, MA. Her presence was called “threatening” and her name on the live music schedule was likened to lewd art.
The devastating career choice that would force Carly to reconfigure her summer was accepting an invitation to perform the national anthem at Trump’s rally in Manchester this spring.
Tefft knew that in today’s political climate, accepting 45’s call was a risk.
“Still, this was an opportunity to bring people together with the National Anthem by a former president,” she said. “For me, that’s full of positives.”
She didn’t seek out the opportunity either. A member of Trump’s team reached out, asking for clips of her prior performances. Conveniently, Tefft was back in Massachusetts booking shows and making early summer season appearances. The Trump team loved her voice, and she was free the evening of April 27—it felt like fate!
Until her phone rang about five days later.
It was the owner of Harvest Gallery. Tefft was caught off-guard. She explained that she usually spoke with a different manager for her bookings. She had been performing there for about seven years—since the earliest days of her career. She already had penciled in a few appearances at the popular spot for 2023.
Tefft described the exchange.
“‘You know, I’ve never had to do this before, but…’” Tefft described a windy discourse from the owner about “controversy.” Upon hearing that buzzword, she knew where the conversation was going.
He referred to a video Tefft posted on her Instagram account. Even if supporting Donald Trump were the heinous crime the Left insists it is, nothing about the post insinuated endorsement, support or warm feelings toward the former president. It shows Carly taking the stage, singing the National Anthem, and receiving a resounding round of applause.
“Ultimately, I just have to know,” the owner asked Carly. “Are you a Trump supporter?”
“I just sighed,” Carly recalled. “I knew that no matter what I said, he had already made up his mind. That’s his business, and that’s his prerogative.
Tefft never publicly endorsed the former president.
“Truth be told,” she told the owner, “The only person I wholeheartedly support is God. This was an opportunity to bring people together with the National Anthem by a former president.”
“I love that you have a great head on your shoulders,” replied the owner. “But I think it’s best for my customer base if we go ahead and cancel your performances for the rest of the year.”
Carly Tefft had performed at Harvest Gallery for seven years with no problems. Once stamped with the big red T for Trump on her forehead, Carly’s performances were cancelled indefinitely.
“I don’t sing the National Anthem in my usual set unless someone requests that,” she explained. “That’s not what it was.”
Of course not. It was the mere fact that she was in the vicinity of the Republican frontrunner—an unforgiveable sin in the eyes of the high priests of the Left.
Tefft went on to describe the call. “He thought that his customer base would feel—he used a very specific word—threatened.”
Surely the manager at Harvest Gallery did not feel “threatened” by Carly. She had been performing there for years with good reviews.
“I have a pretty good idea of the customer base that’s been there,” she said. “I don’t think—even if they saw that I did this—they would completely shut down Harvest.”
Tefft noted another comment made by the bar owner. “‘I can’t have nude artistry hanging in my space,’ he said, and he was comparing that to what I did.”
This strange, convoluted analogy puzzled Tefft. Exactly how is the National Anthem akin to obscene art?
Tefft admitted nothing like this had ever happened to her before. “There hasn’t been a time I’ve actually been banned from my work,” she said. “This is a first for me.”
Now Tefft was answerable for every mean Tweet and edgy nickname coined by the former president.
Carly asked the owner of Harvest if she was completely banned from restaurant premises.
“He didn’t want to have anything to do with me after I sang the National Anthem somewhere that had nothing to do with his bar, but he said I was still welcome to have a seat at the bar or have something to eat.”
How generous of the Left, still accepting the dollar of The Cancelled.
But as the 2024 election ramps up, the neighborhood witch hunts grow ever more ferocious. Business owners spent the last several years stocking up on Bigotry Insurance—Pride Flags in the window, BLM signs on the door, post-Roe fundraisers on Instagram. They make one wrong move, and their storefront’s reputation among the coastal classes will crumble.
Tefft described the internal battle she faced deciding whether to bring her Harvest Gallery cancellation story to the public.
“I thought, This is just me. I’m cool with it. But what it actually represents, I’m not cool with. My kids one day, just because they go to one church or like one person or support one team, if they can’t work somewhere, that’s not okay.”
Tefft touched on the hyper-politicization across the music industry—even the country contingent—at awards shows and behind-the-scenes. The Berklee grad shook her head in disappointment.
She chuckled: “It’s funny because Massachusetts—you know, liberal—is supposed to be more ‘open.’”
Good news for Carly, more open-minded states have opened their arms toward her music. A Cape Cod cancellation is not holding her back from touring across inclusive locales like Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee.
“But, unfortunately, currently not Facebook,” she laughed.
“They restricted my page shortly before the rally. I don’ know why! It’s almost like someone told them I’d be there or something!”