“The music of the South—from traditional ballads to 20th century protest music—is exhilarating to hear, but the history behind the music is often disturbing and filled with social discord and bigotry. That conundrum is what our music is all about.” – Daniel Machado
The Restoration’s members grew up performing in orchestras, choirs, fiddle groups and rock bands in the small town of Lexington, South Carolina. United in 2008, they’ve used their varied backgrounds as a lens for exploring the music and culture of their native soil, channeling storytelling and regional history through layers of banjo, voice, violin, piano, organ and percussion that fluctuate between tradition and modernity. At the core of this exploration is the band’s desire to preserve and enjoy the rich cultural heritage of the South while taking responsibility to acknowledge the problematic history that created it. Despite this detailed focus on the past, the Restoration’s compositions are not meant to be period reproductions—nor are discussions of history meant to be contained in their original time and place. Instead, the band wishes to see the tradition of Southern music evolve and take part in a living, contemporary voice—one that uses the mistakes of the past as a guide for the present.
The Restoration's debut album Constance is a multi-generational cautionary tale, told through historical fiction. Set between the late 1800s and 1930s in Lexington, South Carolina, Constance focuses on the fictional Constance Owen, an unrealized musical prodigy born to poor cotton farmers several years after the American Civil War. Her eventual union with Aaron Vale, a carpenter and musician of mixed race from Chicago, and the birth of their son, Thomas, plants a seed of discriminative hate in the surrounding community, bringing about the bankrupting of her family by the affluent Palmers, the related death of her husband, and the burying of her creative aspirations. Years later, Thomas' nihilistic vengeance against the Palmers sets off a cataclysmic series of violent events, as the South and the rest of the world plunge into the Great Depression.