Laurie E. Jasinski

Listen to this artist

HOLZHAUS, DAVID CHRISTOPHER [CHRIS] (1950–2008). 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.  

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Laurie E. Jasinski, "HOLZHAUS, DAVID CHRISTOPHER [CHRIS] ," accessed August 20, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhocj.

Uploaded on April 3, 2015. Modified on October 24, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox