Kinderhook Is Rocking Again

Kinderhook Creek was a popular New Jersey country rock band in the 1970s and 80s. They kind of created a live bar band market for country rock music in the Jersey/NY club scene. They had a devoted fan base that literally followed them from gig to gig.

Kinderhook Creek (now shortened to just Kinderhook) was a band I knew well. Jerry Kopychuk (banjo, guitar, lead vocals) was a friend in high school and we both went to Rutgers College together. I recall acoustic sessions in our Tinsley dormitory with a rotating group of other students including Andy Fediw who would become the band's bass player.

They got serious enough about the music in 1973 to leave school for awhile and give the music business a chance.

The other founding members were Yuri Turchyn on guitar, violin and vocals and Stan Taylor on pedal steel guitar. Craig Barry came on later on the drums and when the rest of us were graduating a few years later, Joe Breittenbach was added on lead guitar.

They played a regular circuit of venues (most of which are now gone) including The Wooden Nickel, Widow Brown's, The Gypsy, The Final Exam, Dodds Crest, Dodds Orange, Creations, The Beach House, the famed Stone Pony, the Royal Manor, Baby-O's, and The Joint In The Woods.

They later opened for the The Flying Burrito Brothers, Conway Twitty, Pure Prairie League, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Outlaws, Richie Havens, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Commander Cody, Poco and others in larger venues.

Kinderhook might be the Dutch word for “children on a hill” but the core of the original band had Ukrainian roots, and Kinderhook Creek was a popular place for Ukrainian get-togethers in New York state (near Albany) and hence the band's name.

Though a record contract and national tour eluded them, they played six nights a week for almost nine years, and were arguably the top drawing band in the state.

Kinderhook was the only unrecorded act to play the Central Park Schaefer Music Festival (1975), opening for Poco before 25,000 people, including me.

There is some archive b&w video of the band playing at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey on May 7, 1977.

Kinderhook 2010
They reunited in 2010 and started playing gigs, including at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park.

The reunited  Kinderhook performing March 2010 in NJ on a bill with the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Lineup: Yuri Turchyn, Craig Barry, Andy Fediw, Jerry Kopychuk, John Greenaway and John Korba.

A Kinderhook show contains a unique blend of original music mixed in with their own takes on country and rock classics.

              At The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on September 20, 2013.

Today’s lineup includes original members Jerry Kopychuk (guitar and banjo), Andy Fediw (bass guitar) Craig Barry (drums), John Korba (keyboards and guitar) and longtime Cowtown member Jim Ryan (pedal steel and guitar). All the members are lead singers, giving the band its distinctive vocal presence.

Check out Kinderhook's official website.