Cozy Hawks Come Alive

Music is like the mob: Just when you think you're out, something pulls you back in. At least that's how it worked for Adam Bertholdi of Denton's Cozy Hawks.

Bertholdi, like many musicians, has always pulled double shifts in numerous local bands, sometimes as a guitarist and background vocalist, other times as a fully invested member. When Bertholdi's former band, Gazelles, broke up a couple years ago, he found the lost investment of time and effort too much to bear.

"We were together for almost five years, and it just abruptly ended and I got a real negative view of doing it again, of starting from the ground up with a new band," he says. "So for a couple of years I didn't do much [musically]."

He did continue to write sporadically, building a short list of songs. Then, one day, a casual conversation with a neighbor sparked something. "I lived next door at the time to Justin Collins (Burnt Sienna Trio, Old Snack), and one day he asked me why I wasn't doing music anymore," he says. "We decided to get together and jam."

The result is an impressive EP called No Blues. While Collins played drums and produced, Bertholdi played everything else. Through its seven tracks, No Blues is a showcase of guitar-based power-pop full of great melodies. Songs like "No Blues" and "Two Hawks" drive with purpose, while others like "Days as a Dog" and "Howl" slow the pace but keep the hooks.

Of course, having a record is only part of the battle. With show offers coming in, Bertholdi needed a full band. Enter Rob Paine and Brack Cantrell. "When I started looking for other players, Brack was with Sundress and Rob was with Matthew and the Arrogant Sea," he says.

Those other commitments ended right about the time Bertholdi needed a drummer and bass player, and months of unfulfilled plans finally came to fruition. When performing live, the band projects a younger, aggressive Neil Finn or an extension of Bandwagonesque-era Teenage Fanclub.

"You don't really see a lot of stripped-down, power-pop stuff around," Cantrell says. "But we don't really shoot for a certain sound."

Now that Bertholdi is back on track with a new band, there are other things to think about, such as finishing school (all three members are close to graduating), planning a tour and recording a new full-length.

"We've all had a taste of this before, but now we want to see if we can make a real go of it," Bertholdi says. "This is what I've wanted to do since I was 13."

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Erik Garcia
Erik Garcia

It's like a DFW super group. Played a killer show in Fort Worth this past Sunday. Cozy Hawks is tight to me.

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