MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA - As a singer, songwriter, guitar player, and storyteller, Tony Sheppard has performed in practically every major night spot on the Monterey Peninsula since the late 1970's. Way back in the olden days, when many of the landmarks of the Steinbeck era still stood on Cannery Row, locals and tourists went to hear " The Monterey Minstrel " sing his ballads and love songs. Tony's repertoire varied widely from Country music to Folk and Rock 'n Roll. Songwriting was and still is his true love.

   Tony landed a recording deal with a record company in Nashville in 1992. Nothing happened. " It was all about money and control" Tony says. " I couldn't afford to fly back and forth to Nashville to make things happen and I got lost in the shuffle. The control of music by the big time record companies made it virtually impossible for artists like myself to expand their horizons and control their own destinies. Ever since the invention of the phonograph, music has been viewed by the record companies as a " product " that can be packaged and controlled solely by them and sold to the masses. The major record companies have the money and the power to monopolize the creation and distribution of music. "

   During the impending dawn of the 21st Century Tony Sheppard witnessed, along with the rest of the world, the beginning of a new era - The Age of the Personal Computer. He began to see an infinite array of possibilities for artists like himself to record their music themselves and display their craft to the entire world on the Internet. So he left the Monterey night life for awhile and embarked on a mission. Utilizing the magnificent technology that was becoming available to everyone, Tony concentrated his efforts on creating his own record label - Merlin Records  (

   " The long reign of the major record companies is coming to an end, " Tony insists. "  People with creative talent can use today's technology to make his or her craft available to anyone who is interested. The existence of the Internet has in fact given everyone access to the entire planet.  Music lovers everywhere have the power to listen to the music of their choice rather than be spoon-fed by the all mighty major record companies. The rise of independent record labels run by independent artists and the people who desire their music is becoming larger by the minute. People can empower themselves because their choices of the music they want to create or listen to is no longer limited. Music is an art - not a "product" to be controlled and packaged like a box of cereal. Music is entertainment that should be made available to everyone. Music is communication. Music is passion."

   So Tony Sheppard is back on the scene with his own record label- Merlin  Records. His latest CD's are entitled "Gypsy Wind" and "Keeper of the Flame". Tony dedicates his music to all "The Keepers of the Flame" who will forever believe in Truth, True Love and Freedom.

   So there you have it.Tony Sheppard is an outlaw singer / songwriter with a song to sing and a story to tell. For more info you can call Merlin Records at (831) 883-0561.