Editor's note: LAFTA tentatively postponed the Rain Dogs concert to May after a snow storm prevented their arrival in Lincoln.
Members of the Rain Dogs each have their reasons for loving American roots music.
Jim Herbert, for instance, has an interest in history.
“I always loved music, too,” he said in a phone interview to promote the Rain Dogs concert Friday at the 7th Street Loft. “I think I combine the two in some ways.”
Karla Peterie, too, always has had a love of music. She is from a musical family and grew up with country and bluegrass music in her house.
“It’s just natural for me,” she said. “And the acoustic part of it … we always had a guitar, a mandolin and a banjo in the living room all the time.”
The Kansas City, Mo., band is back in Lincoln for the first time since 2010, when it played the Zoo Bar Festival. Friday night’s performance is a part of the Lincoln Association for Traditional Arts (LAFTA) 2012-13 concert series.
Playing songs that have weathered the generations, the Rain Dogs perform music ranging in style from old-time jug band blues and boogie woogie up through the driving rhythms of early rock and roll.
Working within a framework of acoustic and resophonic guitars, washboard, bass, mandolin, piano and harmonica, the band covers material from artists such as Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie, Mississippi Sheiks, Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt and Bo Carter, along with originals.
The band has three CDs to its credit, all of which will be available Friday.
The Dogs are made up of Herbert (slide, lead and fingerpicking guitar), Peterie (washboard, mandolin and guitar), Mike Roark (piano, harmonica) and Phil Smith (bass). Peterie and Roark are wife and husband.
Herbert said the foursome played its first gig in 1999, coming together after meeting at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kan.
“There’s a camaraderie with us,” he said, explaining the band’s longevity. “We’re like a family.”
That became important in 2009, when Roark weathered a cancer scare, having to undergo a bone marrow transplant. The band cut back on its performances for obvious reasons.
“He went through the ringer and back,” Peterie said of her husband. “Now he’s back playing with us, and he couldn’t be any happier.”