Garth Brooks, Jason Isbell among country music icons appearing in 'Last Songwriter' documentary

Movie looks at shrinking earnings of songwriters

Are Nashville's songwriters in danger of losing their livelihoods? Garth Brooks is worried about it.

Garth is among the country music icons appearing in the new movie "The Last Songwriter," a documentary about the increasingly tough road songwriters face in the music business.

"Songwriting is fragile ... it's the most important step in music," Brooks said in a trailer for the movie, which is set to premiere at the Nashville Film Festival this month.

Emmylou Harris, Jason Isbell and Jim Lauderdale are also interviewed in "The Last Songwriter."

In a clip from the movie, Harris said, "I owe my career to the songwriter."

The wages of songwriters are mandated by the United States government and in recent years, with the rise of streaming music services like Spotify, their slice of the pie has been shrinking.

"Somebody's making millions of dollars but it's not the writers," one person interviewed for the movie said.

Matraca Berg — the hall-of-fame songwriter behind country classics like Trisha Yearwood's "XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl)" and Martina McBride's "Wild Angels" — said in the trailer that the first time she realized her songs were affecting people was 1996's "Strawberry Wine."

"It's so strange because it was such a personal song for me," Berg said.

Click here to watch the trailer for "The Last Songwriter."

Clint Davis covers entertainment and trending news topics for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.

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