Lzzy Hale is giggling with embarrassment.
She's thinking about the first song she and her brother, Arejay, both of Red Lion, performed around 1997 at the Schuylkill County Fair.
"We played the talent show. We played one song, 'Love Is Power.' It's such a juvenile song," Hale said with a laugh. "It was going to be a hit, I'm sure."
That's not the bad part.
Lzzy, 13 at the time, and her brother, then 11, placed third. The winner was a tap-dancing cowgirl.
"Hey, it was the first time playing outside of the living room," Hale said. "Maybe we should have tap danced."
And that, in hindsight, was how a rock band formed.
The Hales are better known now as two of the members in Halestorm, named
Halestorm, a hard rock band that has put out two records through Atlantic Records, is now touring the United States. They'll tour Germany, Switzerland, the
United Kingdom, Austria and more this fall.
Hit album: Their latest effort, "The Strange Case of..." rose to number one on Billboard's hard rock album chart after its April release. The album features songs such as "Love Bites (So Do I)," "Daughters of Darkness," and "I Miss the Misery."
The success is surreal to say the least, Hale said, considering it wasn't all that long ago Halestorm featured Hale's dad, Roger, as the bass player and they were playing at Friendly's restaurants.
"We're getting free ice cream, because what are they going to pay two kids?" Hale said.
They also made a regular stop at the Tourist Inn in Hellam Township and the Rusty Nail (now Underdog) bar in Harrisburg, as Hale credits both for giving them some of their first gigs.
"I remember being excited about having our name on the marquee at the Tourist Inn," she said. From there, it started to take off to more and more gigs, including stops in New York City. The Hales, who grew up in Red Lion, went to private school
"We ended up doing about 250 gigs on our own. We were regionally gigging all the time," Hale said of the days before they signed with Atlantic Records in 2005. "There's a fine line between obsession and determination. We took more of the obsession route."
They eventually decided not to continue the Partridge Family method and got a professional musician to replace their dad, who Hale joked was fond of wearing zebra-striped pants.
"I told him, 'When I said wear something hip with the kids, I didn't mean hip with the kids circa 1989,'" she joked.
Completing Halestorm: The band added guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith to go with Lzzy, the lead vocalist, and Arejay, the drummer, whom Lzzy lovingly describes as "the love child of David Lee Roth and Animal. He's a complete Muppet."
She said music has brought her and her brother together, and she can't believe where the band is now.
It might be a bit before York County fans get another crack at seeing Halestorm locally, although Hale said she'd love to do another show here. The band performed at the York County Fair in 2009.
They'll be at Harrah's Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack I Chester, Pa., on Aug. 4 and at Pier Six in Baltimore on Aug. 7, however. Then, soon after, it's off to Europe.
Not bad for a couple of kids who used to get paid in sundaes.
"Everything we're able to do, everything we're able to experience, is because of you guys," Hale said of the York County fanbase. "You guys enabled us to be able to do what we love for a living."
Tour and album information is available at www.halestormrocks.com
-- Reach Andrew Shaw at ashaw@yorkdis patch.com