Sometimes there are stories that you never thought you would write about, and this is definitely one of them. Stewart Varnado, long time pianist for the Dixie Echoes, has announced he’ll be leaving the group. The following statement was posted on his Facebook page.
I’d like to thank the Dixie Echoes for allowing me the opportunity to live out my dream for the past 14 years. I joined the group when I was 17 years old. Randy and Scoot Shelnut have became like family to me, and it’s been a blast traveling with some great guys through the years.
I realize that when people put out statements saying they want to spend more time at home, it seems to be a cover for …unhappiness within the group. That is not the case here. I simply have the desire to come off the road for a while. I wish nothing but the best for the Dixie Echoes, and pray that one day, if it’s God’s will, I can return to Gospel music.
I have no future plans at the moment and will be filling in for the group until a replacement has been found. Thanks also to the many friends that I have made while traveling! It has been an honor to get to meet so many fine people. I will still be active behind the scenes promoting the music that I love. Anyone interested in auditioning should contact Randy Jr. at email@example.com
You always hate to see a great talent like Stewart decide to come off the road. He’s been such an integral part of the Dixie Echoes over the years, that it will be difficult not seeing him sitting at the piano bench for the group. Stewart is not only a great pianist, but a wonderful gentleman & great guy as well. I worked with the group a few months ago at a concert I promoted, and enjoyed getting to know Stewart a little bit. He loves Gospel Music, and is very involved in concert promoting and various other avenues. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors, and pray the Lord will lead and guide both him and the Dixie Echoes in the days ahead.