Love Canon doesn’t cover the music of the ’80s as much as kidnap it and take it on a bluegrass-tinged joyride. It’s a general rule of American culture that it takes 20-40 years for a decade to shed its stale stench and get its groove back. There’s no shortage of clever musical re-enactors giving the first generation of MTV an ironic makeover: a fool’s errand, given that the music already was soaked in postmodern irony.
By contrast, Love Canon refreshes and extends the originals with affectionate humor and effortless virtuosity. The players — including Old School Freight Train’s Jesse Harper and Darrell Muller, Virginia Commonwealth University guitar and banjo master Adam Larrabee, Mandolin Virtuoso Andy Thacker, and dobro Jedi Jay Starling — add layers of depth to the still-appealing pop hooks.