By night, lead singer Angela Shepherd and her band Law and Disorder work as hard as any Baby Boomer classic rock outfit, firing off a well-rehearsed stable of timeless hits on stages across OC. Watching Shepherd swaying with her long brown hair down and tilting her head back to belt out the choruses to “Hazy Shade of Winter” or “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” can be arresting. But most people in the crowd would probably never guess that by day, she actually does arrest people for a living. The LA Sheriff Lieutenant’s passion for singing is only rivaled by her love for law enforcement.
“When I’m in uniform [people] really don’t believe it, until they come and hear me sing,” she says. Shepherd started singing as soon as she could talk. She likes to joke about how she woke up one morning at age 2 singing “Oklahoma.” She continued performing throughout her life, even after completing a criminal justice degree after finishing high school. Shepherd started dispatching for the CHP and went on to work at the LA Sherriff’s Department, which turned into a lifetime career.
At times, Shepherd has integrated her musical talents with her law enforcement career; playing in a special band called Cops That Rock who performed in uniform for DARE graduations, and other community events like car shows and National Night Out. She’s also an active National Anthem performer in Southern California, professionally singing the praises of the stars and stripes at places like Dodger Stadium, Pasadena Civic Center, and most recently the Hollywood Bowl for the Hero’s Ride.
Law and Disorder started five years ago as a way for Shepherd to bridge her love for classic rock and singing with other Baby Boomers with similar tastes. The original incarnation was a hard rocking, tribute experience, featuring songs the quartet loved to play by bands and acts they love like Janis Joplin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Pretenders.
But after learning of her retina issue, Shepherd had to turn down the volume to keep her vision, literally and figuratively. “I had four torn retinas, and doctors thought it may have been from singing, I had to quit for a while to get surgery on my eyes.”
About a year ago, Law and Disorder reformed with a softer agenda after Shepherd healed. The Yorba Linda and Fullerton based band changed their dynamics, transforming their favorite classic rock jams into original acoustic arrangements. The result is a new sound that puts less stress on Shepard’s eyes, driven by drummer John Gooley’s innovative percussion set up and skills. “[Now] We have a real sophisticated sound and sophisticated sound system,” says Law and Disorder guitarist and second vocalist David McCue, “it doesn’t have to be loud, you can hear everything perfect, it lends itself to beautiful acoustic arrangements [that] integrate electric guitar, centering Angela’s vocals and our two and three part harmonies. The music is perfectly audible, and you can enjoy your company and enjoy the band too.”
After Shepard’s retirement and with their new direction, Law and Disorder don’t have any plans of slowing down. In addition to live shows in Orange County and Los Angeles lined up for the remainder of spring and into summer, the quartet is working on original material to add to their collection of classic rock standards and anthems.
“I love singing and performing,” says Shepard who loves the feeling of performing with her talented band members, whether people are watching or not. “Music is kind of like a type of medicine that heals me, it keeps me going, it keeps me young.” McCue concurs. “Music is a two way street,” he says, “the audience needs the performers, and performer needs the audience. We aren’t alone, there are a bunch of other Boomers out there, and we would like to have others join the party and see that there is life after work, life after a career.”
Law and Disorder performs Friday May 27th at Main Street Restaurant, 4902 Main St., Yorba Linda, CA, 92886. All Ages, Free, 6:30-10PM. 714-777-9427.