New documentary shows Kinderhook live at Capitol Theatre

Kinderhook documentary

Kinderhook, in a vintage publicity photo.

A caption in an old press clipping shown in the short documentary, “Send Your Demo Here, Vol. 1,” declares the band Kinderhook (originally known as Kinderhook Creek) to be “Jersey’s ‘Eagles.’ ” And, indeed, that’s what they seemed to be, for a long time: Not just the leading country-rock band on the local club circuit, but a group that seemed to have more than enough musical talent, stage presence and strong original songs to make it big.

Concert promoter John Scher is shown, in the 26-minute documentary, introducing the band at a concert at the Capitol Theater in Passaic. He talks about the many New Jersey bands that had broken through, nationally, in recent years, and adds, “I think this might be the next one.”

Alas, it never happened. But for those who used to follow the band from club to club — and, maybe, still keep up on the band’s current endeavors — “Send Your Demo Here, Vol. 1” will bring back good memories. Directed by Christina Kotlar (the wife of Kinderhook co-founder Yuri Turchyn), with Turchyn (who no longer performs with the band) in charge of the audio, it’s composed, mostly, of old black and white footage from the Capitol.

Scher used to project films of the bands, live, onto giant screens in the theater, to show audience members what was happening, close-up. In some cases, the footage has survived; in this case, the footage led to the making of this documentary, which is an official selection of the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival, and will be shown at Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, April 28 at 3 p.m.

Besides the Capitol footage, the film shows some old photos and clips, and weaves in some previously recorded interviews, to give a taste of the band’s story. It’s enjoyable in its own right, but also suggests that a longer documentary, exploring the band’s history in-depth, would have a fascinating story to tell.

For information, visit apmff.org.

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