Wesley Smith leaves Dixie Echoes

Via the Dixie Echoes’ Facebook page:

The Dixie Echoes are now seeking a Tenor & Bass 🙂 Just to answer any questions, nothing is going on here. Nobody has been fired, nobody is on bad terms, just unfortunately Wesley has turned in his notice, leaving us with two open positions. Interested singers can email demos to stewart@dixieechoes.com. We appreciate your prayers through this transition.

Update: In the comments, a reader seemed to be working from the assumption that only the Shelnuts would be on stage this weekend. Since I was certain the group would have fill-ins of some sort, I asked pianist Stewart Varnado to shed some light on the interim plans. He replied:

On June 4, Trent Adams (bass singer), turned in his notice to the group. Back in January he and his wife had their second child. They felt that it was best for him to stay home and find a job that would allow him to be home every night with his family. They moved back to Lineville, AL, and he has accepted a position as a correctional officer at a local prison facility there. Since that time, we have been auditioning bass singers to replace him. We have received many demos and have been taking our time finding the right replacement, knowing that we can perform as a trio.

Last night, our tenor singer, Wesley Smith, turned in his notice. Since he joined the group nearly 4 years ago, he has always lived near Decatur, Alabama. He was driving 5 hours to Pensacola each week just to get on the bus, followed by a 5 hour trip home every week. He had a singing position made available to him from a group based 2 hours from his home. This would allow him more time at home, plus a lot less driving. Wesley has given us three weeks notice to find a singer. We are a trio this weekend, and we have former Dixie Echoes tenor singers lined up to help fill in until we have a permanent replacement. We are narrowing down our bass singer search, so there should be one announced within the month. Hopefully we can find a new tenor singer within the month too.

I know how rumors are started. These member changes both took place within a few weeks of each other. Nobody was fired, everyone is on great terms. We thank Trent and Wesley for their time spent with the group. Wesley has joined another group, but I’ll wait and let them make that announcement.

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21 Letters to the Editor

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  1. That’s not good. I always liked Wesley. Thought he fit well with the Echoes. On a side note, I have a chance to go see them tomorrow evening. Unless Stewart can sing, it will be a father-son duet. 😛 So I think I will pass.

    • I am fairly confident that they will have someone on stage, but I will check with Stewart for confirmation.

    • Darrell – it looks like they will be touring at least as a trio this weekend; Stewart Varnado graciously provided us with some additional comments, added above to the updated post, to answer your question.

  2. As long as Randy Sr. and Randy Jr. doesn’t leave , it will be alright! lol

  3. Although i will miss Wesley Smith a lot, and i also miss their last 4 bass singers too! From Billy Todd on!

  4. Wait…It might be because I’m not very familiar with this group, but there’s something I don’t understand. This post says *one* guy left, but *two* positions need filled. Do you mean to tell me that this guy sang *both* parts?

    • Oh; as I posted a few weeks ago, bass singer Trent Adams also recently departed the group.

  5. Oh, my bad! 🙂

  6. Good job by Stewart. I wish the Dixie Echoes the best in the near-term and long-term future.

  7. Get Wesley to tell you his “Missing Bus” story. You will enjoy.

  8. No matter who is with them – they will be solid in a very short period. I never saw Trent – but heard them several times with Pat Barker and Wesley Smith. I still say those were some of the very best concerts I ever attended.

    I think Wesley really enjoyed singing with the Dixie Echoes.


  9. Sure would love to see Keith Plott singing bass with the Dixie Echoes!!!


  10. Good thing they made it clear and plain why Wesley Smith left. Lack of such vital info would have raised unnecessary bitter debates amongst fans. Thanks for posting this Daniel!

  11. I really appreciated Stewart being right up front with everyone. Other groups should take a lesson on how to quell the rumnors…but on the other hand the Echoes have always been a “class act’.

    They will bounce back from this before NQC, just wait and see!

    • I share the confidence that they will field a great lineup by NQC.

  12. According to Google Maps Decatur is 1 hour and 48 minutes from Gadsden… Could Ole Mark do it to the Dixie Echoes twice? I know it’s is just speculation.

    • Umm, Mark…Trammell?

      #1 He’s neither a tenor nor a bass.

      #2 I’m not saying that one group is doing better than another, since both are great outfits, but Mark’s group is doing well enough that the Dixie Echoes’ previous bass singer moved up to Gadsden to join them!

      • I think he was speculating that Wesley Smith could be joining the Mark Trammell Quartet. Speculating being the key word, of course. 🙂

      • Oh, OK. To my knowledge, Joel is happy with MTQ and not going anywhere. 🙂

  13. I havebeen blessed ,seeing and hearing, the Dixie Echoes, four times in Ala. and travel several miles again .
    What a blessing.