Chapel Hart Is a Breath of Fresh Air in the Country Music World

by Clayton Edwards

It has been a wild week for Mississippi-based country trio Chapel Hart. First, they received a unanimous Golden Buzzer on this week’s episode of America’s Got Talent with their Dolly Parton-inspired song and top-notch performance. While it was an incredibly exciting night for the group and their fans, it was only the beginning.

The AGT judges and crowd weren’t the only ones to take notice. Soon, Dolly Parton praised the group on social media. Not long after that, Loretta Lynn invited Chapel Hart to reimagine one of her classic songs. On top of that, the Grand Ole Opry invited them to make their Opry debut. As if that wasn’t enough, Darius Rucker announced that the trio would appear on his upcoming album.

All of that recognition helped to drive people to Chapel Hart’s music. Their album The Girls Are Back In Town and the song “You Can Have Him Jolene” hit the top of the iTunes country charts.

From the outside looking in, it might seem like this brand new band from Mississippi is kicking the door off of the country music world with this huge boost. While that’s partially true, Chapel Hart is far from a new group.

Chapel Hart Isn’t a Flash in the Pan

Chapel Hart – the trio comprised of sisters Devynn and Danica Hart and their first-cousin Trea Swindle – independently released their debut album Out the Mud in 2019. Their sophomore album, The Girls Are Back in Town – which contains “You Can Have Him Jolene”- dropped last summer. They’ve also been playing shows around the country for a few years.

It seems that we’re a little slow to catch on to the greatness of Chapel Hart here in the states. They aren’t having that issue across the pond, though. The group won International Group of the Year and International Song of the Year for “You Can Have Him Jolene” at a Scottish awards show, according to their website. Additionally, the British CMAs nominated the trio for several awards including Group of the Year and Album of the Year for The Girls Are Back in Town.

So, the ladies in Chapel Hart have been putting their boots to the door of the country music world for a few years. Now, with their recent explosion in popularity, they’ve finally broken that door down and the genre is better for it.

This is Real Country Music

After their killer performance on America’s Got Talent, Danica Hart said, “We’ve been trying to break into Nashville for the last couple of years but it’s been kinda hard when, I think, country music doesn’t always look like us.”

It’s a true statement. While there are several Black women making country music, the masses usually don’t hear about them. So, no. Country music doesn’t look like the ladies of Chapel Hart. I’m here to tell you, though, it damn sure sounds like this Mississippi-based trio.

If all you’ve heard from them is their AGT performance – or if you’ve never heard the group sing a note – I implore you to check out The Girls Are Back in Town. This is real, raw, traditional-sounding country music. From heartbreak ballads like “Nearly Over You” to the feminine anthem “Grown-Ass Woman” and the Dolly-inspired “You Can Have Him Jolene” Chapel Hart proves that they are students of the traditions of the genre with nearly every note.

Don’t write them off because they blew up after a reality show performance. Don’t overlook them because they don’t fit the mold of the country industry. Chapel Hart is, without a doubt, the real deal.