Written by Kaitlyn Crocker
Outside of Midtown’s Tavern I catch the boys mid-conversation and end-cigarette with an old friend, looking like every other Nashvillian in need of a good beer by Tuesday night. Snarky comments and a functional dysfunctional bickering between these guys should always be expected… they probably hate each other more than anyone else – and love each other more too.
[some…. girl] “The City Profits… What, are you like all about making a profit or something?”
[Terry] “Well no, but everyone has to make a profit, everyone has bills… money is something everyone can relate to, it’s a common denominator.”
Peter Terry & the City Profits, even when faced with boldly pointed questions from an unbeknownst audience member, know how to respond with the cool collection of a band who acknowledges reality and still knows what they are all about. As for their city profiteering, they have made something of themselves in Chicago and now in Nashville.
In a city culture riddled with wannabe musicians and aesthetic dreamers who dig Nashville’s niche-industry of re-surging “vintage” songs recycled from artists’ parents’ old vinyl collections, Terry and his profits have found it difficult to find their place here in music city. Cellist Stephen Juergensen and percussionist Chris Spann add unique elements of classical and Old Soul/R&B and Jazz sounds to Terry’s 50s Doo-wop / 70s and rock background.
Although all three band members claim the same Indiana roots, their individual backgrounds contribute in a unique way to the classical/pop/rock/blues trio.
Growing up in a household full of trained classical musicians, it is amazing that even at the age of eight Juergensen followed suit with a hunger for strings. Cello became his go-to.
Spann studied jazz at college in Chicago where he got together with mutual-student friend Terry whom he had oddly enough gone to high school with.
Chicago was the middle ground where they found each other, whether again or for the first time. Even with a large audience-on-command, the boys were looking for something more than friend-fans bleeding from the heart of a city that only beat routinely for them. The perks of rebuilding a local audience outside of their home state is knowing that new fans really dig their music, who they are and will stick around and support. All three had agreed that moving to Nashville seemed the best next option for them as uncomfortable and uncertain as that seemed at the time. As Juergensen so elegantly put it, they had to “just do it.”
As their sound has progressed, there is something of symphony and of pop running alongside their growing desire to make music that “people can dance to.” A significant power lies still within the lyrics that are somehow just as meaningfully crafted into songs as the intricately layered music itself. With their 2011 I Am Jackson album , stories besides their own were portrayed, but in the future more importance is being laid on their own experiences in this upcoming album that they’ll be getting under way with in June at the Tracking Room. They hope that even this late-spring planting will yield an August album harvest.
One past-album lyrical gym [lyrics here], Miss May and Dean kay originated from… “the Chicago tribune. Dating prior to the Korean war, a soldier went to war leaving the sweetheart of his yesteryears. When he returned much later she had married somebody else, and he in turn got married. They had their own lives, and 40 years later one sent a Christmas card to the other one, just checking in, and they started talking via letters and ended up starting a relationship and got married at 65” -Peter Terry
The latter represents days past for the band, and now their focus is being narrowed to their experiences, struggles, and aspirations to engulf contemporary surroundings. Somewhere in between the Black Keys and Bruno Mars you will find them chasing after something brilliant that makes them echo “Hallelujah!” in the new Daft Punk album.
This team of profit-snatching bandits (as some people might like to see it) has their own interpretation of their band whose name they currently hate – and that fact which they will shamelessly and unforgivingly publicize – and would rather identify themselves as Lewis – “Like Lewis and Clark… the spirit of adventure.”