Spartanburg Methodist College and their Pioneering Learning Community is pleased to host and present The Restoration at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 3rd in Gibbs Auditorium located in Ellis Hall, both of which are handicapped accessible. This performance by Jasper Magazine’s 2013 Artist of the Year is open to the public and admission is free of charge.
The Restoration’s members grew up performing in orchestras, church choirs, fiddle groups and rock bands in the small town of Lexington, South Carolina. Their debut concept album, Constance, has been taught in university literature and history courses and was featured on PasteMagazine.com.
Formed in 2007, the band have used their varied backgrounds as a lens for exploring the music and culture of their native soil, channeling storytelling and regional history through instrumentation associated with traditional and post-rock America alike. At the core of this exploration is a desire to preserve and enjoy the rich cultural heritage of the South while taking responsibility to acknowledge the problematic history that created it.
The Restoration’s debut, Constance, explores racial identity and the terrifying widespread acceptance of mob violence in early 20th century Lexington, SC. Their follow up, Honor the Father, returns to Lexington in the 1950s for a semi-allegorical tale of religious radicalism and abusive Bible-inspired patriarchy. The band’s two upcoming releases will focus on a 19th-century minister’s struggle with the Biblical defense of slavery, and the subjugation of the LGBT community still happening today.
Since its release in 2010, The Restoration’s Constance has been embraced by several South Carolina educators. The album has been taught in literature courses at Francis Marion University and is a recurring part of the literature and history curriculum at Spartanburg Methodist College.
“I first heard of The Restoration while flipping through Columbia Free Times. I thought the album, music, and band sounded interesting, but it was some time before I experienced the band first hand. I was blown away by the performance, so I bought Constance as soon as it was available.
The compendium sold me on the talent of the band,” shared Dr. Jonathan Sedberry, Ph.D., Spartanburg Methodist College. “I immediately thought of adding The Restoration to our curriculum because in addition to the talent of the band, I thought the study of the album and a performance could extend the purpose of the Learning Community. Furthermore, the Faulknerian nature of the project and the complexity of the lyrics (in and of themselves as well as juxtaposed to the music) fit the curriculum while adding nuance. Moreover, music often draws in students who resist fiction and poetry. I think Constance is remarkable, and though not equal to the work of Whitman or Frost, possesses the complexity and cultural force to be studied alongside such giants of American literature.”
Musically, the band wishes to take part in the evolution of traditional and regional music, providing a living, contemporary voice that embraces overlapping genre boundaries while remaining aware and respectful of music history.