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Oct 10, 2021 - 6:07:46 AM
443 posts since 7/31/2018

Old-Time TOTW #172 is Tippin' Back the Corn from Chicago fiddler Jordan ****off (b. 1962). He became interested in fiddle music at the University of Chicago where he volunteered every year at the folk festival. In the early 1990s, when Jordan was in his late 20s, a friend acquired two fiddles and suggested that they both learned to play. It didn't take long before became obsessed and really delved into fiddle playing. He put down his electric guitar and began trying to learn from books. That didn't last too long, however, because he found that every book was too hard. ****off met some people who became music mentors (Lisa Marsicek, Brenda Koenig, and Drew Phillips), and began playing with them and going to festivals like Mt. Airy, Wheetland, and Clifftop. Not long after, Jordan began dancing at Chicago Barn Dance Company dances, working at the Old Town School, and taking lessons from Paul Tyler. The folk music scene in Chicago was particularly welcoming, so it wasn't long before he was playing at dances and in bars. Jordan now teaches a bit at The Old Town School of Folk Music, and he works at as an English teacher in the Chicago Public Schools.


Regarding the tune, Jordan told me: "I made up Tippin' Back the Corn around 1997 in the kitchen of my apartment on Haussen Ct. in Chicago. I remember it was a joyful experience--almost like a discovery rather than a 'composition.' The tune itself has been on quite a journey. As I remember, I played it for Chirps Smith one day out at the Valparaiso dance in Northwest Indiana. Sometime later, I was at his house in Grey's Lake, Illinois, and he asked me to record it for him in his basement music library. A few years later it appeared on his 'Down in Little Egypt' album. After that it just kind of spread. I don't know how many times it has been recorded or posted on YouTube but all the fiddlers interpreted it a little differently, and I was glad I hadn't written it out or recorded a 'definitive' version."


I have heard many fiddlers begin the tune on the low part, but Jordan told me he conceived the high part to be the beginning of the tune. I also asked him to what the title refers. Indeed, it is about drinking corn whiskey. I have heard some people over the years say that the title has to do with harvesting corn. The tunes themselves apparently aren't the only things that become "folk processed" over time!


I wish to thank Jordan for the great correspondence we've had and for answering my questions about his background and the tune.


Tippin' Back the Corn seems to be a pretty popular festival tune. I learned it probably about a decade ago at the Flurry festival in Saratoga Springs, NY, but I will admit that I play it a bit differently now.


Joining me are friends Dave Rice on fiddle (Twinsburg, OH), Bill Miller and Greg Smits on mandolin (Bellville, OH, and State College, PA, respectively), Adam Schweigert and Stephen Rapp on banjo (Pittsburgh, PA, and Kent, OH), respectively, and Jeanie Creamer on guitar (Hocking Hills, OH). We recorded this in mid-July 2021 when we all got together for the Music in the Valley festival in Bath, OH.


Old-Time TOTW is able to continue through your support. If you'd like to be a part of this journey, join my Patreon at: http://www.patreon.com/paulkirk


I offer excellent perks for my Patrons.


Subscribe to my YouTube channel, and be sure to click the bell icon to receive notifications, and don't forget to join the Old-Time TOTW group on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/33100?...


Stay Tuned for another "new old-time" tune next week.


Edited by - FiddlerPaul71 on 10/10/2021 06:08:55

Oct 10, 2021 - 7:55:47 AM

5501 posts since 9/26/2008

Apparently Jordan's last name is a curse word, or at least the FHO posting filter, or whatever it is that makes the word SH!T look like ****, thinks so.laugh

Why cough? 

Edited by - ChickenMan on 10/10/2021 07:59:16

Oct 10, 2021 - 9:18:28 AM

5501 posts since 9/26/2008

Oh, W. A. N. K!
Yeah, that makes more sense.

Oct 10, 2021 - 9:31:55 AM

443 posts since 7/31/2018

quote:
Originally posted by FiddlerPaul71

Old-Time TOTW #172 is Tippin' Back the Corn from Chicago fiddler Jordan ****off (b. 1962). He became interested in fiddle music at the University of Chicago where he volunteered every year at the folk festival. In the early 1990s, when Jordan was in his late 20s, a friend acquired two fiddles and suggested that they both learned to play. It didn't take long before became obsessed and really delved into fiddle playing. He put down his electric guitar and began trying to learn from books. That didn't last too long, however, because he found that every book was too hard. ****off met some people who became music mentors (Lisa Marsicek, Brenda Koenig, and Drew Phillips), and began playing with them and going to festivals like Mt. Airy, Wheetland, and Clifftop. Not long after, Jordan began dancing at Chicago Barn Dance Company dances, working at the Old Town School, and taking lessons from Paul Tyler. The folk music scene in Chicago was particularly welcoming, so it wasn't long before he was playing at dances and in bars. Jordan now teaches a bit at The Old Town School of Folk Music, and he works at as an English teacher in the Chicago Public Schools.


Regarding the tune, Jordan told me: "I made up Tippin' Back the Corn around 1997 in the kitchen of my apartment on Haussen Ct. in Chicago. I remember it was a joyful experience--almost like a discovery rather than a 'composition.' The tune itself has been on quite a journey. As I remember, I played it for Chirps Smith one day out at the Valparaiso dance in Northwest Indiana. Sometime later, I was at his house in Grey's Lake, Illinois, and he asked me to record it for him in his basement music library. A few years later it appeared on his 'Down in Little Egypt' album. After that it just kind of spread. I don't know how many times it has been recorded or posted on YouTube but all the fiddlers interpreted it a little differently, and I was glad I hadn't written it out or recorded a 'definitive' version."


I have heard many fiddlers begin the tune on the low part, but Jordan told me he conceived the high part to be the beginning of the tune. I also asked him to what the title refers. Indeed, it is about drinking corn whiskey. I have heard some people over the years say that the title has to do with harvesting corn. The tunes themselves apparently aren't the only things that become "folk processed" over time!


I wish to thank Jordan for the great correspondence we've had and for answering my questions about his background and the tune.


Tippin' Back the Corn seems to be a pretty popular festival tune. I learned it probably about a decade ago at the Flurry festival in Saratoga Springs, NY, but I will admit that I play it a bit differently now.


Joining me are friends Dave Rice on fiddle (Twinsburg, OH), Bill Miller and Greg Smits on mandolin (Bellville, OH, and State College, PA, respectively), Adam Schweigert and Stephen Rapp on banjo (Pittsburgh, PA, and Kent, OH), respectively, and Jeanie Creamer on guitar (Hocking Hills, OH). We recorded this in mid-July 2021 when we all got together for the Music in the Valley festival in Bath, OH.


Old-Time TOTW is able to continue through your support. If you'd like to be a part of this journey, join my Patreon at: http://www.patreon.com/paulkirk


I offer excellent perks for my Patrons.


Subscribe to my YouTube channel, and be sure to click the bell icon to receive notifications, and don't forget to join the Old-Time TOTW group on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/33100?...


Stay Tuned for another "new old-time" tune next week.


yes, and would you believe I noticed that right away, hit edit, corrected it, and it STILL put ****off.  Smh. 

Oct 10, 2021 - 10:11:21 AM

5501 posts since 9/26/2008

I've always wondered how this tune was intended to be played; are you sticking close to his intention?
Also, it's a great tune that lends itself to many interpretations.

Oct 10, 2021 - 2:18:47 PM
likes this

443 posts since 7/31/2018

Well, Billy, that's hard to say. As Jordan told me (and as I quoted in the video description) "all the fiddlers interpreted it a little differently, and I was glad I hadn't written it out or recorded a 'definitive' version."

So...

When I contacted him with my intention to feature TBTC for Old-Time TOTW, he told me he was looking forward to hearing what I/we did with the tune.

Really nice guy he is.

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