“It’s Monday night at Mekong restaurant, high-end craft beers are $5 a glass and Todd Herrington’s band, the Mekong Express, is playing. The recessed lighting is dimmed down to late twilight, with a string of Christmas bulbs draped across a Brooklyn Ale backdrop.
The guitar-heavy three-piece band is flowing through an epic exploration, starting with Herrington’s gently lyrical fret-board bass figure, over which seamlessly connected musical vignettes alternately rock out and whisper, like an instrumental version of the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” Herrington is at the center and the others take solo, providing the visceral heartbeat of the band, laying down lines felt as much as heard.
It isn’t Herrington’s only band. It isn’t even his only Mekong-themed band. The New Belgians — named after the brew preferred by the bar’s self-titled chief beer officer, An “Mekong” Bui, who just nabbed CraftBeer.com‘s “best beer bar in America” title again — still makes the odd appearance. The weekend before, the Express played the West Virginia Camp Barefoot Festival with Herrington’s two other high-profile bands, the DJ Williams Projekt and James Brown tribute the Big Payback.”