Annette Conlon is an acoustic folk singer-songwriter who, along with husband Doug Conlon, creates memorable and intimate live music experiences of heartfelt truths.
Annette splits her time as California Regional Director for Masks for Docs, Music Supervisor, and recording artist, hard at work on her sophomore record, due 2020.
What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
When I first started, it was all about rock ‘n’ roll. Now I prefer a folk guitar sound, so I search out old parlor acoustics that I can fingerpick on all day versus Gibson or Fender electrics that I could knock out bar chords while I wailed away on vocals.
Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
Guitars: I have a house full of guitars, a benefit of being a lifetime musician married to a lifetime musician. My three favorites are Bedell Vegan Blackbird Parlor Acoustic. Lovely and deep, and vegan through and through! Art & Lutherie Cherry Parlor (I keep in my office – this is my writing guitar — pure, bright, light, easy, and animal friendly!). And, the find of the century, a 1963 Gibson LG-1 in near-mint condition. I picked this up at Carter’s a few years ago and loved the tone so much.
Amps: MegnaWatt Grand Canyon 12-inch, 15-watt custom amp, hand made in Santa Monica, CA
Pedals: Baggs, TC Helicon, Roland – all selected for build and reliability. Depending on the type of show depends on which pedal combination I might use.
What about strings?
Martin M130 80-20 Silk & Steel Strings – I am allergic to nickel, and these are the only strings I can play. Plus, they feel great and have a beautiful, folky sound!
Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
I like to pre-record at home, get a template in place for what I want, and create an outline on paper. It’s a simple approach that saves time and money when going into the studio.
How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
We practice A LOT before shows and listen to videos/recordings of live shows.
What does your practice consist of?
Sometimes Doug and I practice together; sometimes, I work on songs after he goes to bed. He is much more disciplined than I am, and it’s because I spread myself too thin in every other way. The things I love the most always suffer because I work too much!
What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Just do it – Work in the music industry.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot take on any role – find your passion and pursue it. Roadblocks only become roadblocks if you allow them to. Go around them and change direction. Create your path. Believe in yourself and be kind to others and help them along the way. I wish you every happiness and success!