Alexander, who served over 17 years with the Canadian Armed Forces, holds a military world record for longest confirmed kill shot.
As a former member of the elite JTF2 sniper unit, Alexander was on the four-man team of snipers who took out an ISIS fighter during a 2017 operation in Mosul, Iraq, at a distance of more than 3.5 kilometres.
“It was an honour to be part of a team and get to serve with that calibre of warriors beside me,” said Alexander. “That’s what I feel most grateful for.”
Now, Alexander finds himself on a new mission, playing alongside one of the most accomplished Canadian country music artists in history.
Alexander was connected to Bamford at a show in Edmonton, and soon the two teamed up.
“A few weeks later, I had a text message from him asking to hear some of the songs that I’ve written. He liked the songs, and invited me to have a meeting with him to discuss how he could help me develop my music career.”
The duo have embarked on a cross-country tour, named after Bamford’s new title track Canadian Dirt. The tour is a celebration of Canadian pride, and will visit small towns across the country, including Gravenhurst.
“I have a massive appreciation for this beautiful country we live in,” said Alexander. “I have had the opportunity in my life to travel the world, and I truly believe we have some of the most breathtaking places here in our own country.”
Alexander, a native of Western Canada, grew up on a Métis Settlement in Alberta. His Métis heritage can be heard in his music, on tracks including Child Of This Land.
“I write a lot about where and how I grew up. As well, the fiddle is a big part of my music, which is also predominant in Métis music culture.”
With his exit from the military, and passing of his brother, Alexander turned to music as a form of therapy, which he credits as being an immensely positive influence on his mental health.
It was Alexander’s brother who inspired his pursuit of music, and he continues to honour him each time he steps on stage.
“When my brother passed away, I was drawn to pick up the guitar and music began to be therapeutic for me, with my grieving process,” said Alexander. “I am reminded of him everywhere and bring him along with me for this ride.”
The Canadian Dirt tour stops in Gravenhurst at the Gravenhurst Opera House on October 19.