I Heard the Morgan Bell CD

Product image 1I Heard the Morgan Bell CD
Product image 2I Heard the Morgan Bell CD


New solo album by Brandon Godman, featuring 14 original fiddle tunes performed by a cast of stellar musicians, all recorded right in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

"Lard have mercy!!! How a fiddle album should sound! Sooo good honey... you can see the tune when you play... and feel it too... just like lyrics." -Dale Ann Bradley


About "I Heard the Morgan Bell" 

I am very lucky to have had the childhood I had, and as I grow older I find myself appreciating it more and more. I grew up on the Godman Farm, which is located about 5 miles outside of Falmouth, KY, just down the river from the nearly-forgotten town of Morgan, KY. Those rolling hills, deep hollers and fertile river bottoms have provided for our family since 1858. Our primary crop was tobacco, which is how I paid for my first fiddle. 

The family and neighbors of our community color my memories quite vividly. We supported one another with a helping hand, were present and active in each other's lives, and kept each other entertained with unending stories about days gone by. I was always enamored with the history of where I grew up, something I picked up from my Papaw Jimmy. I could never get tired of hearing about how things used to be, how the old stagecoach road ran through our property, stories about the small communities that used to be sprinkled throughout the county but have now disappeared. It left my imagination running wild! I especially appreciated the stories of the people- the sweet, the sad and the funny.

I was never desperate to leave Kentucky, and still think of our farm as “home”, but my fiddling and endeavors as a violin dealer have provided opportunities to explore many other places. I am grateful to have found “home” in both Nashville, TN and San Francisco, CA, and am enjoying experiencing these communities. I still frequent The Godman Farm, if not physically in person, in my mind through these memories. It grounds me and inspires me.

As long as I have been playing, I have had tunes or snippets of melodies running through my head. Sometimes I’m able to catch and shape them into something, and sometimes they seem to just write themselves. “I Heard the Morgan Bell”, is one that wrote itself after a conversation with my Mamaw Faye, and quickly became the center-piece that I built the rest of the album around. It’s a melody that takes me right back to those hills, where I can watch the Kentucky sunrise and feel the hope of a new day.

This collection of tunes, written with affection and gratitude, is my tribute to home, memories of home and the concept of home. You know where you are and who you are.

The Tunes

  1. I Heard the Morgan Bell

  2. Godman’s Bottoms

  3. Jack’s Branch (feat. Patrick Sauber)

  4. Thelma Lilly

  5. Cry Baby Bridge

  6. I Heard the Morgan Bell (full band)

  7. Death Comes Creepin’

  8. Sweet Mary Lou

  9. Western Wanderlust

  10. Callensville Ferry (feat. Riley Calcagno)

  11. All Cooped Up

  12. Great Buck in the Night Sky

  13. I Heard the Morgan Bell (feat. Sam Reider)

  14. In a Haze (feat. Darol Anger

Specific thanks to the talented and hardworking musicians who helped bring these tunes to life, Dave Luke for his patience and enthusiasm, Laurie Lewis for her guidance and expertise, Lauren Sir for listening to my many ideas, Bria Light for giving me an excuse to make this album, JL Thibodeaux for making the album look pretty, and to Tyler Bray for making me look pretty.

Special thanks to my family, friends and neighbors in Pendleton County, KY who made my upbringing so pleasantly memorable and gave me a place that I can still proudly call home, to my friends in Nashville and San Francisco who make both places feel like home, to Edward Rudolph and Soheil Soliman (my lunch buddies), Ron Shuffler, The Violin Shop and The Fiddle Mercantile families, Violin Society of America, California Bluegrass Association, Bluegrass Pride, Manning Music, The Right Hands, and to my friends, colleagues and customers, near and far, who are incredibly generous with their support, as it allows me to live my dream everyday. 

Brandon Godman- fiddle (all tracks)
Darol Anger- baritone fiddle (14)
Riley Calcagno- banjo (2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14)
Hasee Ciaccio- bass (6)
John Gooding- guitar (2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14)
George Guthrie- banjo (6)
Laurie Lewis- bass (2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14), guitar (6)
Sam Reider- accordion (5, 9), piano (13)
Patrick Sauber- banjo (3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 14), mandolin (2, 4, 8, 11, 12)
Tristan Scroggins- mandolin (5, 7, 9, 14)
Joe K. Walsh- mandolin (6)

Appears Courtesy of
Laurie Lewis appears courtesy of Spruce and Maple Music
Darol Anger appears courtesy of Compass Records 

All songs written by Brandon Godman, FiddleMeOne Music (BMI)
Produced by Brandon Godman
Engineered by Dave Luke
Mixed by Brandon Godman and Dave Luke
Recorded and mixed at Opus Studios, Berkeley, California
Darol Anger recorded at Fiddlistics Studio, Nashville, TN
Mastered by Ken Lee at Ken Lee Mastering, El Cerrito, CA
Artwork and design by J.L. Thibodeaux
Photography by Tyler Bray

But, what kind of music is it? Fiddle Music!


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