The story of the Ghost Town Troubadours is comprised of four gifted singer songwriters, Aaron Benward, (Half of Country duo Blue County), Travis Howard, (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Famous in a Small Town), Danny Myrick, (International Harvester, She’s Country, I Love This Life) and Regie Hamm, (The Time of My Life) who bring different musical styles and backgrounds to the table. They set out on a mission to bring awareness to the present day state of the American songwriter. Starting their journey in Nashville and ending in California brought challenges, insight and an even stronger realization that their fight is far from over.
Follow Ghost Town Troubadors on Twitter @ghosttowntroubs and visit their website at www.ghosttowntroubadors.com (h/t to David Lowery for the link)
The group is comprised of four hit songwriters who, while talented musicians in their own right, have spent much of their careers writing for other artists.
Their two-week tour from Nashville, Tennessee to Los Angeles comes amidst a major shakeup in the music industry as it shifts from selling songs to streaming them.
That new business model has created many issues when it comes to licensing music and how artists and songwriters get paid.
Because of this, the United States’ two main performing rights organizations, BMI and ASCAP, requested that the Department of Justice (DOJ) change parts of a consent decree that was first issued in 1941.
The two-year review ended on Aug. 4, with the DOJ denying the request.
The ruling was a blow to songwriters, who receive fractions of a penny each time one of their songs is played through a streaming service such as Pandora or Spotify.
“We’re the only trade industry in America that’s governed. Our rate is set by the government,” said Aaron Benward, a songwriter and member of the Ghost Town Troubadours.
The Troubadours, which include Benward, Danny Myrick, Regie Hamm and Travis Howard, decided to do something about it, embarking on a two-week tour, stopping at a city each night to play a show. Their mission was to share not only their music, but also their stories.