The Fiddle Mercantile is what you find at the crossroads of my two passions: playing the fiddle and the violin trade. I have spent over 20 years with a fiddle and bow in my hands, perfecting my skills as a fiddler. For just as long I have been captivated by every aspect of that violin and bow, from the history of who made them and where, to the various schools of making and how each minute detail can make a monumental difference in their performance and playability.
The Fiddle Mercantile is located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, where I offer repairs, restorations, rentals, and a broad selection of specially curated instruments, bows and accessories for players of all levels and musical backgrounds. Not being confined to my shop's physical location, I regularly work with clients near and far through camps, festivals, teaching studios and the internet. With a vast network of colleagues around the globe, I’m able to partner with clients to help find a solution to their fiddle needs.
Whether you're in search of the perfect fiddle or bow, are in need of adjustments or repairs to your instrument that you hold dearly, or want assistance in getting a beginner set up with a violin that will serve them best in their early days of learning the instrument, you are most welcome at The Fiddle Mercantile. With a focus on tradition, quality and community, this is your local violin shop, wherever you may be.
Contact me to set up an in-shop or a virtual consultation!
Hailing from the bluegrass state of Kentucky, Brandon began playing fiddle at the age of 10 in local square dance halls. He developed his skills by playing in various bluegrass, country, and western swing bands around the region, and by competing in fiddle contests throughout the midwest. His first bluegrass road gig was with Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain at the age of 17. Since then he has performed with various bluegrass and country acts including Karl Shiflett, David Peterson, Dale Ann Bradley, Doyle Lawson, The Band Perry and Jon Pardi. He has been fortunate to grace the stages of The Ryman Auditorium, The Grand Ole’ Opry, Carnegie Hall, The Ellen Show, The Tonight Show, The View and others. Currently he performs regularly as part of Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
From an early age Brandon was lucky to have mentors who not only taught him how to play fiddle, but encouraged his undying interest in instruments and bows. During his summers in high school, he worked at A Violin Maker’s Workshop in Cincinnati, OH where he started learning repair and helped maintain their rental fleet. After his move to Nashville, TN he worked for a brief period at William’s Fine Violins, furthering his skills in repair and sales. In 2011 Brandon started working with Fred Carpenter at The Violin Shop, eventually becoming a partner. During this time he studied with other luthiers who worked with the shop, refining his skills as a luthier, and also focused on developing his knowledge and identification of vintage instruments and bows.
In 2016, Brandon left The Violin Shop and moved to San Francisco, CA in an effort to further his career in the violin trade by conducting trade with other industry professionals on a wholesale level, and eventually starting The Fiddle Mercantile.
The Violin Shop
In January of 2022, Brandon Godman acquired The Violin Shop of Nashville, TN. We are thrilled to have it as our sister shop, allowing us to better serve fiddlers across the country! The Violin Shop is an institution, having served many of the greatest fiddlers across many genres. Please be sure to check out www.theviolinshop.com to keep up with what is happening in Nashville!