Brothers in charms: the Zucchini Brothers

So are the Zucchini Brothers really brothers?

Uh huh, Sam Zucchini said during a recent phone interview, drawing it out in a way that conveyed a wink and a nudge.

And is their last name really Zucchini? "The real question is, are we really Italian? We get that all the time," Sam said as he and Steve laughed.

Funny, but seriously ... is their last name really Zucchini? More laughter.

If Jack, Sam and Steve are a little reluctant to break character " and they are, refusing to divulge their real last names " it's understandable. The trio of children's musicians have built the Zucchini Brothers into a big brand. They have an internationally syndicated radio show, a new album due out this summer and bookings at countless fairs, festivals and schools in the Capital District and beyond. Their next local appearance is Wednesday, July 21, at the Clifton Park Common. The 7 p.m. show is part of the Clifton Park Concert Series.

While the show is likely to be packed with kids, the Zucchini Brothers pride themselves on appealing to adults, too. In fact, when they first started out some 20 years ago in Plattsburgh, Jack, Sam and Steve played pretty much exclusively for the older set, doing the traditional coffeehouse and club circuit.

But they realized that to make it as musicians, they needed to carve out a niche. They decided to dedicate themselves to children's music, in part because it was more fulfilling to play for kids "instead of people who didn't remember they were there," Sam said with a laugh.

The Zucchini Brothers are adamant, though, that being labeled as children's musicians needn't cheapen their work.

A lot of children's musicians, Sam said, "try too hard to work for kids. It's like they think they're going to force it and let go of a lot of smart thinking."

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