Musician voices humanity in the immigrant experience
Arizona Daily Star
May 31, 2007
By Gerald M. Gay
Tucson, Arizona | Published:
Who needs newspapers when you have musicians like Eric Holland?
Once a full-time tennis pro at swanky, high-end resorts, Holland now spends his days penning bilingual border ballads and running his own English as a Second Language consultant business in Tucson.
His music drips with Southwest Americana flare a la Roger Clyne and Andy Hersey with songs that reflect what is happening on our southern border.
On Saturday night, Holland will host a CD-release party in the patio area of Vila Thai Cuisine, 972 E. University Blvd.
He is celebrating the release of "American Inmigrante: Sin fronteras II," a collection of songs that document the immigrant experience.
There's no cover charge for Saturday's show, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Holland will also perform at Vila Thai on June 8.
Your songs revolve around immigrant life and culture. Why?
"It is a timely music right now. It is a beautiful music. It is inspired by my students. A student will go back for a grandfather's funeral, spend two weeks in Sonora and now has to get back across and I don't see him for two months. That is where the heart and the passion comes in. I mix a little food and romance in there to make the songs marketable.
"I will be marketing with the border stations and hopefully Radio Sonora to try to get my message across in Spanish."
You were a tennis pro for awhile. Were you always into music?
"Being a '70s-'80s guy, I grew up with all that good rock 'n' roll in my brain. I play a very good guitar without music theory. Like most of us solo acoustic people, we know all these songs. Your yuppie kids now are listening to the Stones and the Beatles and John Prine so they are into it. I have always played music and I have a nice little following. I have music on the brain all the time."
What message do you hope to get across at your show?
"A great catchphrase is 'Love is the same in every tongue.' We all have bellybuttons, the same color blood. If you want to get really heavy into it, there are no borders. People come over this border for dignity. There is a song of mine called 'There's Nothin' Like a Friend' that says, 'When your daughter looks at you and there is no food upon her plate / If there's no answer you can give her / Then it's you who decides her fate.' "