There’s no shortage of clichs meant to capture the idea of adversity leading to opportunity. You know – every cloud has a silver lining. When a door closes, a window opens. Necessity is the mother of invention. Et cetera.
Lest we become too jaded, a real-life example is always refreshing. Consider, if you will, Calgary musician Alex Boisselle. After a 20-year career as a guitarist, singer, percussionist and songwriter, Boisselle was silenced in 2007 by a repetitive strain injury to his chording hand.
By all accounts, it was a career-ending blow. But by switching to lap slide guitar, Boisselle soon did an end run around his injury, and in the process reinvented himself as an enigmatic roots-country-Canadiana musician with a unique sound.
He now plays regularly (100-plus shows a year) across Alberta, both solo and in various combinations including his band, Ashbury Train. His smooth and smoky vocals are at times reminiscent of John Mellencamp, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle or, for those with long memories, Cajun music icon Doug Kershaw.