Chapel Hart Talks Cowboy Boots, Shopping Carts and the Truth of Country Music

CMT's 2021 Next Women of Country class members are "Dolly, Reba, The Chicks, everybody, all rolled into one"

Alan Jackson, Cody Johnson (and more) are vocal about preserving the authentic roots of country music. However, there's an unlikely addition to this conversation that may have one-upped both of their male counterparts: Danica and Devynn Hart, plus their cousin Trea Swindle, aka CMT's 2021 Next Women of Country class members Chapel Hart. While on the carpet at 2021's CMT Artists of the Year event, the highly countrified trio discussed their roots, as well as their latest album, The Girls Are Back in Town.

"Our album reflects exactly who we are. And for people who doubt our authenticity, The Girls Are Back In Town, just like we are, is a VERY country album. We're from Poplarville, Mississippi, and we used to ride down steep hills on these sawed-off Walmart shopping carts, for fun," jokes Danica Hart about those who doubt the "real country" authenticity of the charismatic trio.

"Our authenticity within country music as a genre is our main selling point! We're as country as the day is long," notes trio member Trea Swindle. "And it's not the twang or the instrumentation that defines that, either. Instead, it's the truth of our lives and how people relate to that truth that defines how country we -- or anyone -- are. Plus, I like wearing my cowboy boots, sitting on the porch with my guitar, and listening to Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Hank Williams -- not Hank Jr., but OLD Hank."

"So, when I let [CMT Hot 20 correspondent and groundbreaking country artist and broadcaster] Rissi Palmer hear [the album] before it was released, and she got excited and was like, 'Gurl, THIS IS COUNTRY AS HELL...steel guitars, fiddles, Dolly, Reba, The Chicks, everybody, all rolled into one thing that feels new,' I was not surprised," adds Danica Hart.

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