Formed in the early 2010s, Virginia bluegrass outfit Love Canon rework '80s pop, rock, and new wave classics, often balancing playfulness and reverence. Their sophisticated arrangements and skilled performances have led to collaborations with the likes of Jerry Douglas and Aoife O'Donovan, both of whom were among the guests on the band's fourth LP, 2018's Cover Story: A Journey Through Music's Greatest Decade.
Love Canon was founded in Charlottesville by Jesse Harper (lead vocalist/guitarist), Adam Larrabee (banjo/vocals), Andy Thacker (mandolin/vocals), Darrell Muller (bass/vocals), Jay Starling (dobro), and Nate Leath (fiddle). Their first recording, Greatest Hits, Vol. 1, featured bluegrass versions of favorite '80s tunes including Toto's "Africa," Human League's "Don't You Want Me," and ZZ Top's "Legs." Released in March 2012, it was followed by Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 before the end of the year. The second set took on Peter Gabriel, Devo, and the Police, among others. Love Canon returned in 2014 with Vol. 3, which was highlighted by their covers of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bruce Hornsby, and a live version of the Grateful Dead's "Touch of Grey." Nate Leath then left the group, and the remaining quintet reached out to possible collaborators for their fourth album. When Cover Story: A Journey Through Music's Greatest Decade arrived on Organic Records in 2018, it included a number of prime guest spots on songs by Depeche Mode, Billy Joel, Squeeze, and more. Among them were Jerry Douglas, Aoife O'Donovan, Keller Williams, and fiddler Alex Hargreaves (Turtle Island String Quartet). ~ Marcy Donelson