Key to the Highway


By Cory Albertson

At first glance, you'd think Eric Himan is the type of guy who yields to the self-indulgent madness of life as a touring musician, a wanton existence marked by bedpost notches, trashed hotel rooms, and a long trail of beer-bathed plastic cups. With his sly grin and a flashy canvas of tattoos on his arms, the Tulsa, Okla.'based queer folk-rocker also seems like the type of guy who wouldn't hesitate to kick your ass.

But as he hits the highway again this summer in support of his new album, Resonate, Himan confesses that he's hopelessly mellow. When not performing songs about our culture's obsession with fame and conformity ('For Me'), gay rights ('Protest Song'), and the journey of a transgender boy ('Little Boy Blue'), Himan -- who has a partner back home -- spends his time honing his board game skills.

'People expect that because you're a rock star, you must have alcohol and cigarettes, and your car must be full of old pieces of everything,' he says, laughing. 'And then I open up my trunk and 'Look, it's Operation!'"

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