"I give them credit for coming in right away and putting everybody's fears to rest," she said.
People affected either directly or indirectly by the spill, Hart said, were promised compensation or help until things were put right, but that began to drag as it became more litigious.
"All the second-tier opportunists moved in," she said, "The lawyers."
Hart said she started getting some recompense for lost wages and took her daughter to Chicago to start her studies at Columbia College Chicago, an arts school there. She thought it might be good to stay.
Hart is from Chicago and had some success as part of that music scene when she was much younger, plus the Gulf Coast music scene wasn't coming back quickly. She decided to give Chicago another try.
"But as soon as I left the state, BP said, 'Well, screw you.'"
The money stopped, and Chicago wasn't really working out. She'd come close to signing a record deal, but the record company didn't want to pay and was squabbling with the recording studio.
"I didn't want to get in the middle of that," Hart said.
Nearly broke, she left for Nashville to stay with some friends and start over again.
"I'd lived in Nashville before," she said, "and things just fell into place there. I found a great church and started going to some great shows."
Hart put together a band, recorded and album and got back out on the road. She's even playing Florida some.
"It's some of the old spots and some new places," she said. "People are telling me things are about 50 percent of what they used to be, but it's coming back."
Hart probably isn't, though -- at least, not to stay. Nashville is treating her great.
"It's not quite as dog-eat-dog as Chicago," she said. "It's a musicians' town. We're all kind of in it together."
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.