Six years since their last album of original material, America partners Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley have no illusions about why people still come to hear them.
"You don't want to be called a nostalgia act," says Bunnell, 61, "but the music we made is kind of frozen in time. We're from a certain period and showcasing that catalog, and it lets us and the audience relive our youth on stag every night.
"But we still take it very seriously. Those are songs that meant a lot to us and the time and they still do. And they mean a lot ot four fan base. So we're not about to slough it off or camp it up."
One of those America favorites, "Muskrat Love," turns 40 this year, and Bunnell acknowledges that he and Beckley -- who co-founded the group with the late Dan Peek during 1970 in England, where their military fathers were based -- have always had mixed feelings about the song, which was written by Willis Alan Ramsey and recorded with greater success by Captain & Tennille three years later
"I think it's a nice enough song, but it's a very polarizing song," Bunnell notes. "We don't jump to do it. Because it was a charted single and is part of our history, we feel obligated at times to put it in there every couple of shows or something. And people call for it, but it still has legs.
"I think it showcased our vocals, which is what most of the early recordings did. But I don't think it's a particularly important thing in our career."
America and Purdy Good perform at the 2013 Chevrolet Rockin' on the Riverfront series at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 19, behind the GM Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. Admission is free. Visit www.facebook.com/RockinontheRiverfront.