Accomplished New York-based guitarist Todd Mihan has been releasing weekly ‘Morning Jam’ videos on his YouTube and social media pages for a remarkable six years straight. To celebrate the longevity he recently welcomed a very special guest, drummer Matt Byrne of Hatebreed, on a rocking cover of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s ‘Tightrope‘.
In March of 2015, the series came to life and has featured everything from instrumental blues and groove rock to country. Most weeks Mihan is a one-man show, playing guitar, bass, and drums all on his own. To mix things up he occasionally brings on collaborators but it’s clear there’s a special chemistry between him and Byrne.
We had a chance to catch up with Todd to get an idea of what instruments and gear he likes to use, how he connected with Byrne, and rumors he’s collaborating on a song with the talented Adam Ezra. Here’s what Todd had to say, be sure to check out ‘Morning Jam’ weekly, you never know what you’re going to get. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok for more killer content. Watch the full video down below and check out some of the other jams on Spotify.
1. Favorite guitar, amp, and pedal?
My favorite guitar is a Fender Telecaster. I have a 52 reissue that I’ve had for over 20 years now. It’s worn in like an old pair of jeans, and I can cover a lot of ground stylistically with it.
The amp that sees the most action on the Morning Jam is a small 1×10 combo that was built by one of my best buds Walt Yahn. He has a small company called Greenhandle and has built many amps and guitars for me over the years. He’s a talented cat. This little 1×10 combo build came out so nice that he decided to build a bunch more based on the same circuit. It’s a perfect little recording amp. For live gigs I usually bring a Fender Deluxe Reverb.
Pedals….can’t say I have a favorite. Probably something that gives my Telecaster a little grit. Xotic AC Booster maybe…or a Tube Screamer.
2. How did morning jams get their start?
I think I just filmed a video of myself jamming one morning and put it out there. People liked it, so I did it again. That was way back in March of 2015. I’ve done one a week since then. I decided Thursday would be the day pretty early on and started incorporating a different and interesting coffee mug each week for the toast. That got out of hand quickly as I bought more cool mugs and people sent me mugs to use. I was overrun with mugs!
3. How do you find inspiration each week?
Haha. I don’t know. I play a lot of guitar. Many of these start on my couch with an acoustic and cool chord progression or riff. I’ll put that down on my phone and jam over it a bit, try to find a nice melody or hook. Most of the Morning Jam guitar performance is improv. I don’t obsess over it too much. I lay down a rough guitar in Pro Tools and build a track from there. I enjoy working on the drums, bass, and mixing each week as much as the guitar performance. I try to improve on each instrument, gets the mixes sounding a little better. I have fun with it.
Once in a while I’ll do a cover …usually when a guest is on the show. I would say 95% is original material.
4. How did you connect with drummer Matt Byrne of Hatebreed?
I knew Matt a little bit from the local music scene ..he was an acquaintance. I’m a fan of his band and knew he was a great drummer. He was always in the back of my mind as a potential guest for the show. I noticed he was liking some of my Morning Jam posts, so I when I ran into him ….I popped the question! He was totally down to do it. The first video we did together was a free jam kinda thing I made up. We hit off immediately. I was excited when he wanted to play more. He mentioned covering Motörhead ‘Ace Of Spades’. We made it our own by putting a kind of country rockabilly spin on it. Since then, Matt has become one of my best friends and has drummed on about 10 Morning Jam episodes including two with local bass legend John Regan (Peter Frampton, Ace Frehley). John joined Matt and I for a cover of ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’ and the Michael Monroe song ‘Dead, Jail, Or Rock ’N’ Roll”, which John played on the original recording of.
I also have two band projects with Matt – an instrumental duo we call the Matt & Todd show, and a crazy cover band with our talented friend Mike Hamel on bass and vocals called Albino Love Slaves.
5. Is it true you’ve been writing a new song with Adam Ezra? Tell us more.
Yes! I met Adam Ezra when we both played an event for the Sparrows Nest charity here in the Hudson Valley. He asked me to sit in with his band for a few songs. They’re a great band and I had a blast jamming with them. Since then, each time Adam Ezra Group comes through town, I’ll text him asking if I can sit in. Usually Daryl’s House or the Towne Crier.
In October of 2020 I got a text from Adam saying hello and how much he enjoyed the Morning Jam I did on October 8th (episode 290). Funny…I didn’t realize he watched my show. I was flattered and said….”write some lyrics to it!” Some time passed and in early February he sent me a rough version of the tune with some really beautiful quarantine-inspired lyrics he’d written. It’s called ‘Alive’ and I’m proud to be part of it.
Adam has been doing live streams every single day since the pandemic. He recently played ‘Alive’ for the first time during live stream episode 365 and it was a hit with the fans. We’re in the process of recording it together now. Check out Adam Ezra Group! So great. I’m honored to be part of that extended family.
6. Name two people you’d love to collab with on Morning Jams.
Oh boy. Too many to just name two.