The band’s name — Halestorm — brings to mind a hard-rocking heavy-metal band of shirtless male musicians in leather pants.

But the band’s story is more akin to the old TV show “The Partridge Family.”

On that show, Shirley Jones played a rockin’ mom who formed a band with her kids and went on the road. The two founders of Halestorm, siblings Arejay and Lzzy Hale, got their start playing in a band with their bassist dad, Roger Hale.

“I think they were like, 10 and 13, and their dad was playing with them, getting gigs for them and playing bass,” said Josh Smith, 30, Halestorm’s current bass player. “I think when Lzzy got to be about 16, she was like, “OK Dad, this is not cool.”

Halestorm is now a Grammy Award-winning rock band, and will play Portland’s State Theatre on Thursday. Prospect Hill opens.

Even when they were middle-schoolers playing with their dad, the sibling founders of Halestorm — Arejay plays drums, while Lzzy is on lead vocals and guitar — were hard-edged rockers. They never played pop or bubble gum.

In fact, Lzzy, whose real name is Elizabeth, adopted the odd spelling of her nickname early on because it sort of looked on paper like Ozzy, the nickname of British rock legend John Michael Osbourne.

Smith thinks the band’s sound comes in part from the blue-collar background of its members. The Hales grew up on a farm in southeastern Pennsylvania, and Smith grew up in the same area but in a different town, working at his family’s paint and sandblasting company.

“We all had pretty simple upbringings, so we all know what’s like to work hard, and we make sure fans know we appreciate what is happening to us,” said Smith. “We treat what we do like work, and we work hard.”

And rock hard.

The Hale siblings released an EP on their own when Lzzy, the older sibling, was 15. By the time Smith joined Halestorm in 2005, the band had signed with Atlantic Records, and Lzzy was 21. Guitarist Joe Hottinger rounds out the group.

The band built a following through nearly non-stop touring, doing as many as 250 shows a year. Lzzy has become known for her strong lead vocals and guitar playing. In 2012, the Gibson guitar company honored her with a Lzzy Hale signature model.

Halestorm’s second full-length album, “The Strange Case of …,” was released in 2012, and got wide airplay on rock radio stations. The song “Love Bites … (So Do I)” won a Grammy in the category of Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance this year.

“Going to the Grammy Awards was so cool — meeting so many people, getting to the red carpet at, like, 11 a.m.,” said Smith. “I think the day we got there was the first day it hit me that we could actually win.”

Not that winning changed much, Smith said. When he goes home to Pennsylvania, he is still likely to do some painting for the family business.

And he still listens to a lot of Beatles records, as Paul McCartney was one of his biggest influences. Is that a clue to what sort of songs Halestorm might do on the covers album they’ve been working on?

“I’m not really supposed to say, because we’ve been trying to keep it hush-hush,” said Smith. “But we have been playing some of them live, so if people want to find out, they should come to the show.”

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: RayRouthier





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