Stewart Varnado (September 11, 1980 - )
Stewart Varnado is a Southern Gospel musician and concert promoter. He was born September 11, 1980.
Stewart has been involved in Southern Gospel Music since the age of 15. His first experience was with a local group from Picayune, Mississippi. He next joined a group from Laurel, MS, called Masterpeace, replacing their pianist Andrew Ishee, who had just joined the Kingsmen Quartet. The group name was changed to Master's Voice in December of 1997. At that time, the group included several names that would become famous over the next few years, most notably Josh Garner at lead and Tim Duncan at bass.
In September 1998, just a few months after completing his high school education, Stewart became the pianist for the Dixie Echoes of Pensacola, Florida. The following year, he was nominated as one of the top five Horizon Individuals in the Singing News Fan Awards. For several years afterwards, he was nominated annually in the Favorite Pianist category. Stewart has also been a regular member of Roger Bennett's Parade of Pianos and the Tim Lovelace Instrumental Jam Session. These showcases are held each year at the National Quartet Convention.
From October 2001 to February 2004, in addition to his work with the Dixie Echoes, Stewart performed with a scrap-iron quartet called the Five Broke Single Boys. The group included the single members of the Dixie Echoes and the Florida Boys at that time. Gene McDonald sang bass, Randy Shelnut Jr sang baritone, Josh Garner sang lead, Billy Hodges sang tenor, and Stewart Varnado was the pianist. The group recorded one self-titled recording with proceeds from the sales donated to the Southern Gospel Music Association.
Stewart has released several solo instrumental recordings, including the 2005 Southern Gospel Album of the Year (in the US Gospel News awards) for The Southern Gospel Players. Stewart credits Roger Bennett and Derrell Stewart as his piano heroes. Stewart spends a lot of time in the recording studio playing on projects for groups from all over the country. His playing can be heard on his solo recordings, releases by the Dixie Echoes, Gene McDonald's solo recording, and many more.
In recent years, Stewart has taken over the role of concert promoter for the Suwanee River Jubilee and other events. He purchased stock in the National Quartet Convention in 2007. In August of that same year, Randy Shelnut sold the Dixie Echoes to Stewart and his son, Randy Shelnut Jr., making Stewart a 50% owner of the group.
In May 2012, Stewart announced he would be leaving the Dixie Echoes in order to spend more time at home.
1996 Country Favorites (Custom Records): Last Date; I Fall To Pieces; He Stopped Loving Her Today; It's Only Make Believe; Walking The Floor Over You; Behind Closed Doors; Please Help Me, I'm Falling; Help Me Make It Through The Night; Tennessee Waltz; Jambalaya.
1999 A Show Of Hands (Custom Records): Sweet By And By; Sing Your Blues Away; I'm Too Near Home; Standing On The Promises (With Special Guest Anthony Burger); Sweetest Song I Know; What A Lovely Name; Won't It Be Wonderful There; Somebody Loves Me; The Old Rugged Cross; Are You Washed In The Blood.
1999 Plain & Simple (Custom Records): He's My King; While Endless Ages Roll; He Touched Me; Camping In Canaan's Land; Gathering Flowers For The Master's Bouquet; Power In The Blood; I've Never Been Sorry; Precious Memories; The Prettiest Flowers; Medley: I Must Tell Jesus/Amazing Grace/How Beautiful Heaven Must Be/Never Grow Old/Pass Me Not/How Great Thou Art; Give The World A Smile; The Meeting In The Air.
2001 Jubilee Vol. 1 (Custom Records/54-01.1): Jubilee (Featuring The Dixie Echoes, Glen Allred, Josh Garner, Allen Cox, & Gene McDonald); I'm Standing On The Solid Rock; Now I Have Everything; Hide Me, Rock Of Ages; Sheltered In The Arms Of God; Living in Canaan Now; I Can Tell You The Time; Walk With Me; Jesus Is Coming Soon; Until Then (Featuring Special Guest - Hal Kennedy).
2002 Southern Gospel Piano (Custom Records/436301.12): Some Day; In The Sweet Forever; The Eastern Gate; Take A Moment And Live; The Unclouded Day; I'll Be A Friend To Jesus; Hand In Hand With Jesus; I Am Resolved; In The Shelter Of His Arms; I'd Rather Be An Old Time Christian.
2003 Musical Journey (Crossroads Records/CR04502): What A Beautiful Day; Where No One Stands Alone; Medley: This World Is Not My Home/I'll Fly Away/Leaning On The Everlasting Arms; When He Was On The Cross; Child Of The King; Victory In Jesus; Family Bible; Bell Of Joy Keep Ringing; Take My Hand, Precious Lord; Last Date.
2004 The Southern Gospel Players - Volume 1 (Crossroads Records/CR05592): Don't Try This At Home; We'll Understand It Better By And By; Too Much To Gain To Lose; Call Me Gone (Featuring Loren Harris); I've Got That Old Time Religion; Camping In Canaan; Beulah Land (Featuring Squire Parsons); Are You Washed In The Blood; Will The Circle Be Unbroken; I Go To The Rock (Featuring Dottie Rambo); Oh Happy Day; Joy Unspeakable.
2005 Old Style Gospel Piano (Custom Records): The Prettiest Flowers; While The Endless Ages Roll; When They Ring The Golden Bells; Wait Till You See Me In My New Home; On The Jericho Road; Everybody Ought To Know; Til The Storm Passes By; Sing Your Blues Away; Hide Thou Me; I'm Free Again.
2006 The Southern Gospel Players - Volume 2 (Custom Records): Just Over In The Gloryland; Down By The Riverside; Heaven Came Down; I Feel Like Traveling On; The Holy Hills; One More Valley; The Lighthouse; When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder; If That Isn't Love; He Keeps Me Singing; Just A Little While; The Unclouded Day.
2007 A Southern Gospel Decade (Custom Records/TMS-6708): Some Day; Take A Moment And Live; The Unclouded Day; I'll Be A Friend To Jesus; Don't Try This At Home; Take My Hand, Precious Lord; He's My King; Jubilee; Wait Till You See My New Home; Just Over In The Gloryland; In The Sweet By And By; The Old Rugged Cross; What A Beautiful Day; Medley: This World Is Not My Home/I'll Fly Away/Leaning On The Everlasting Arms; When He Was On The Cross; Victory In Jesus; Family Bible; We'll Understand It Better By And By; Heaven Came Down And Glory Filled My Soul; When They Ring The Golden Bells; He Keeps Me Singing; Sheltered In The Arms Of God; Are You Washed In The Blood; Sing Your Blues Away; What A Lovely Name; Joy Unspeakable; When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder; Just A Little While (All songs previously released).
2010 Jesus Use Me (Custom Records): Count Your Blessings; Come And Dine; I've Come Too Far; There's A Light Guiding Me; Jesus Use Me; Jesus Hold My Hand; Tell My Friends; God On The Mountain; Unworthy; I've Got That Old Time Religion.