Moncton — “Hello, can you hear me? I’m in California dreamin’ about who we used to be when we were younger and free,” crooned Monctonian Sheryl Witherelle, 31, at the Tide & Boar earlier this month.
A Fredericton talent scout who’d been dining at the gastropub heard the sweet melody and captured it on his smartphone, posted it to his YouTube channel and in the weeks since, Witherelle has become New Brunswick’s most famous artist by a long shot. She has been invited to perform in sold-out venues all around the province, and is quickly becoming a household name.
“She’s amazing!” exclaimed Nick Hornby, the self-proclaimed “talent-hound” who primarily sits around in cafés in the capital city and listens in on conversations, sussing out the rare geniuses among the hacks. “And I’ve heard a lot of good music in my time — not many people know it, but I actually discovered Fredericton’s own All of Green!”
Witherelle, who had never heard of Adele, thought she was doing a simple cover of Nicole Cross’s song “Hello,” when it turned out that Cross had been covering Leroy Sanchez, who had in fact been covering the world-renowned singer Adele.
“Who the hell is Adele and why do people keep comparing me to her? She’s just another Witherelle wannabe, if you ask me,” huffed Witherelle, tuning her guitar for a song she claims she wrote called “When We Were Young,” which she says was loosely inspired by a singer called Alice Olivia, who based it on Michele Grandinetti’s official cover of Adele’s song by the same name from her album 25.
The Manatee called Adele and requested comment, but she said she can’t waste her time on New Brunswick, a place she’s never heard of. We told her that New Brunswick is based loosely on Nova Scotia, which takes its main inspiration from Ontario, a province that models itself after the United States, a country with a booming music industry. Adele didn’t seem to care, and hung up. Oh well; we didn’t like her anyway.
Contact the Tide & Boar for a full list of upcoming performances by Witherelle.