Holzhaus, David Christopher [Chris] (1950–2008)

By: Laurie E. Jasinski

Type: Biography

Published: March 31, 0203

Updated: October 18, 2015


Chris Holzhaus, blues guitarist, was born David Christopher Holzhaus on January 18, 1950, in San Antonio, Texas. He was the son of Walter and Gladys (Overstreet) Holzhaus. He grew up in a musical family. His father had played trumpet for Tommy Dorsey, and his mother was a jazz singer. By the time he was in his early teens, Holzhaus had taught himself guitar and began establishing his reputation as a solid player. He recorded for a band called the Argyles for producer Huey Meaux in 1964 and also played with Max & the Laughing Kind based out of Port Aransas. He was in the Eastwood Revue at San Antonio’s Eastwood Country Club and performed with local musicians Spot Barnett, Doug Sahm, and others.

During his career, Holzhaus performed with many legendary Texas musicians, including Augie Meyers, Eric Johnson, and Delbert McClinton, who described him as “one of the best players San Antonio has ever produced.” Holzhaus played shows with the Texas Tornados and was an opening act for Stevie Ray Vaughan. His mastery of blues guitar and inventive solo licks were lauded by many of his musical peers. He performed primarily throughout South and Central Texas in such blues venues as Antone’s and the Continental Club in Austin as well as clubs along San Antonio’s St. Mary’s Street. He released two albums—Live at Doctor Rockets and Welcome to Bluzhill, Texas.

In the late 1980s he married Suzanne Benson. They had a daughter. In 2007 Holzhaus was diagnosed with colon cancer. Later that year, friends and fellow musicians held a benefit show for him at Sam’s Burger Joint in San Antonio. Delbert McClinton and bandmate Don Wise flew in from Tennessee to perform. Eric Johnson, with Tommy Taylor and Roscoe Beck, also played, along with a host of other well-known musicians who had traveled to the event to express their support for their musical colleague. Holzhaus died on July 11, 2008, in Mico, Texas. His obituary characterized him as “one of the last old-school blues guitarists in San Antonio.”

Chris Holzhaus Cancer Benefit Raises Almost $11,000; Several TMCers Involved,” Texas Music Coalition (http://www.texasmusiccoalition.com/tmp_news_select.php?story=tmp_news.php&ID_news=827), accessed September 7, 2011.Margaret Moser, “Chris Holzhaus, One More Time,” Austin Chronicle (http://www.austinchronicle.com/blogs/music/2008-07-28/650699/), accessed September 7, 2011. San Antonio Express–News, July 13, 2008.  

Categories:

  • Music
  • Genres (Blues)

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Laurie E. Jasinski, “Holzhaus, David Christopher [Chris],” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 23, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/holzhaus-david-christopher-chris.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 31, 0203
October 18, 2015

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

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