Rockers with midstate roots up for Grammy - abc27 WHTM

Rockers with midstate roots up for Grammy

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ABC's late night king Jimmy Kimmel enthusiastically proclaimed on his show recently, "Here with the Grammy-nominated song 'Love Bites...So Do I' is Halestorm."

The band bounced around the Kimmel stage with its trademark energy and zeal.

If it were a storm, Halestorm would be a Category Five assault on the senses.

It is loud. It is raw.

And if you can understand the words, it is at times raunchy.

But, oh yeah, it is also one of the most popular heavy metal/hard rock bands in America and a Grammy hopeful.

Lead singer Lzzy Hale is the new 'it chick' of rock. She sings. She plays guitar. She writes songs. She's in your face.

But she wasn't always.

In 2000, when we first met her, she was Elizabeth Hale. She was 16. She sat behind a piano and played for us a song she wrote called "Rose in December." It's a melancholy ballad of teen longing.

Elizabeth performed it for abc27 in the Player's Exchange, a Lemoyne guitar store. Store owner Scott Frange, a longtime midstate musician, wrote and performed a cello piece for the song. He still has the VHS copy of the broadcast and is still amazed at the depth of Elizabeth's talent at a tender age.

"I've heard a lot of records and a lot of CDs," Frange said, "but this was a special piece. You knew right away."

Frange knew right away, back in 2000, and arranged our interview and a radio performance on the Late Afternoon Show with Bruce Bond. He is proud of Lzzy's success and amazed she's not been run over by it.

"She called me yesterday from LA," he said. "She's the same Elizabeth. She's not caught up in all this."

She's not exactly the same girl on the VHS tape. Her lyrics now are often too racy to say on television. We spoke with Hale who was in Los Angeles for Sunday's Grammy Awards.

Lzzy said with a laugh that she's grown up a lot in the past 13 years. Chasing the dream and 300 tour dates a year will do that to a girl.

She said behind the vampy outfits, onstage persona, and suggestive lyrics, there's still a bit of that vulnerable girl inside her. But then she added with a chuckle, "I love baring my teeth on stage and being obnoxiously loud."

Halestorm started in York County 16 years ago. Lzzy's brother Arejay is the drummer. They now reminisce about playing in York County churches and fairs. But Lzzy struggles when I ask her where home is now?

"I'm kind of a nomad right now," she said. "The only steady place where I spend most of my time and lay my head down is on a rolling bus."

Halestorm is clearly on a roll and Grammy or not has a lot to celebrate.

"The biggest accomplishment we have is we're doing what we love with the people we love," Hale said. "That's huge. We see so many bands that give up after three years or they're breaking up because they hate each other."

Lzzy proudly says the band has no kids or cars, houses or spouses. She's also proud that her mom will be her date to the Grammys. As a teenager she told her mom she'd one day take her to the Grammy Awards.

Call that one more goal accomplished by Lzzy Hale.

There will no doubt be more.

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