For country trio Chapel Hart, made up of sisters Danica and Devynn Hart and cousin Trea Swindle, country music began at home. The women grew up in Hart's Chapel, a small community outside Poplarville, Mississippi, where country music was always on the radio and they spent their days singing with their large family. But they found their richest harmonies singing together.
The group gained popularity busking on Royal Street in New Orleans, where they're currently based. Today the CMT Next Women of Country class of 2021 members count ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons among their biggest fans. The rock and roll frontman appeared in their 2020 music video "Jesus & Alcohol," a rousing boot-stomper about healing heartbreak with the Bible and the bottle. And the trio's new single "I Will Follow" is one of the best follow-your-heart anthems since The Chicks' "Wide Open Spaces."
The women of Chapel Hart credit Gretchen Wilson, who blazed onto the country scene with the rowdy "Redneck Woman" from her 2004 debut album Here for the Party, for being an example of making music on your own terms.
"As a collective, I think it's safe to say that 'Redneck Woman' by Gretchen Wilson has definitely helped shape us into the women and artists we are today," the band tells Wide Open Country. "When Gretchen came on the scene, she was unapologetically herself and didn't care what anyone thought of her. She stayed true to who she was and people can't help but to respect her for that. She plays a major role in the way we carry ourselves as artists. Not only that, but she helped us to know and understand that not everybody is going to love you but there will be people who see you for yourself and will accept you the way you are. Gretchen Wilson is a true trailblazer, and we are so thankful for her and the music she has shared with the world."
Now, Chapel Hart is breaking down barriers for a whole new generation.
"I didn't see anyone who looked like me on the country music awards shows," Danica Hart said in a press release. "I hope as we stand on the ACM or CMA stage, girls who want to sing country music will see us and they can see themselves doing what we are doing."