Listen to Constance

<a href="">Constance Album Sampler by The Restoration</a>
  • Synopsis
  • Timeline
  • Characters
  • Credits


The Restoration's 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.


Constance Owen/Vale
Child musical prodigy, raised by Jacob and Judith Owen, trained musically in secret by former reverend Samuel Harper, widow to Aaron Vale, mother to Thomas Vale, attendee of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church

Aaron Vale
Carpenter from Chicago, amateur musician and composer, moved south on construction contract to renovate Lexington Theatre, chastised by inhabitants for ambiguous racial background

Thomas Vale
College student-turned-day laborer, valedictorian

Jacob Owen
Cotton farmer, veteran of Civil War, wounded at Battle of First Bull Run (First Mannassas), founding member of Lexington Primitive Baptist Church

Judith Owen
Cotton farmer, singer of The Sacred Harp

John Gilead Palmer
Youngest child but only male heir to James Palmer’s planting dynasty, Confederate colonel, owner of 150 acre plantation and 85 slaves before establishing town’s cotton mill, founding member and benefactor of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church

Ethelinda Palmer
Daughter of planter Richard Pinkney, husband of planter/mill owner John Palmer

Reverend Samuel Harper
Former reverend of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, owner of largest classical wax cylinder and record collection in Lexington, hired by Judith Owen to train her daugher in music theory and compostion

Henry Stamp
Childhood friend to Thomas Vale, Private First Class in United States Army, son of cotton mill worker

Orphaned slave under the ownership of John Gilead Palmer, employed as a "spinner" in Lexington Cotton Mill after Emancipation

Willodean Poole
Wife to Alexander Poole (descendent of Jacob Owen’s Confederate company-mate Daniel Poole), once unsuccessfully courted by Thomas Vale, attendee of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church




Adam Corbettbass, vocals, percussion, organ
Lauren Garnerviolin
Sharon Gnanashekarpiano, organ
Eddie Lorddrums, vocals
Daniel Machadovocals, banjo, guitar, violin, orchestral arrangement

Tattnall River Shapenote Singers
group vocals on "Thy Sword, Thy Shield"
Collin Derrickadditional vocals, banjo, guitar, organ, orchestral arrangement
Kat Pollockcello
Stephen Russadditional percussion
Joshua Williamssaxophone


Recorded in Nashville, TN, Lexington, SC, West Columbia, SC, & Savannah, GA, August-November 2009
Engineered & Mixed by Collin Derrick [contact]
Produced by Stephen Russ & Daniel Machado [contact]
Mastered by Cory Plaugh [contact]
Words & music for tracks 1-3,5-12 by Daniel Machado
Words & music for track 4 by Adam Corbett
Web Design by Daniel Machado
Background Photo by Amber Machado




The State"Epic...Compelling...A work of art...Sensational"
"A dissertation on a slice of Southern history, an album that vibrates with imagination and substance...The message is timeless"

Free Times"One of the finest and most compelling pieces of music ever produced in the Capital City...Electrifying...An historical opus"
"Nothing short of astonishing, from the authentic-sounding shape-note hymn "Thy Sword, Thy Shield" to the haggard, pained anguish that's palpable in "The Lynching."
[ Constance article ] [ Tim Eriksen show writeup ] [ Writeup ]

Scene SC"#1 Album of 2010"
"The release was a huge success...Within twenty minutes of the doors opening all of the seating was sold out and standing room only tickets were sold."
[ #1 Album ] [ Release review ] [ Studio journal 1 ] [ Studio journal 2 ]

No Depression Online"Beyond simple ambition"
[ Constance article ]

  • Drowning Mr. & Mrs. Palmer (Live)
  • Making of Constance Pt. 1

The Restoration

The Restoration: Lauren Garner, Josh Latham, Daniel Machado, Sharon Gnanashekar, Adam Corbett

Other inquiries:


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.

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.

Adam Corbett— bass, vocals, percussion, organ, guitar
Lauren Garner— violin
Sharon Gnanashekar— piano, organ
Josh Latham— drums, vocals
Daniel Machado— vocals, banjo, guitar, violin, orchestral arrangement


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Listen to Constance