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Brothers in charms: the Zucchini Brothers

That was never the way the Zucchini Brothers approached it. "The writing didn't change," Sam said. "It's not cutesy at all."

Instead, they simply write melodies and tunes as they always have, then tailor the lyrics to their audience. Sometimes, Sam said, they're not even conscious of writing for youngsters.

"It's like. 'We're playing for kids. Oh, that's right,'" he said.

When they first started out, the trio got some help with ideas for their songs from local schools. They'd visit area principals and ask what kind of lessons kids need reinforced. Then they'd take those suggestions and set them to music.

These days, the writing process is a little less structured, although messages still pervade the Zucchini Brothers' music. Their catalog includes songs like "Clean Your Room," "Don't Get in the Car" and "Learn Your Address and Phone."

Kids don't seem to mind the fact the music is packed with lessons.

"We play 'Clean Your Room' at every show and it's never tuned out," Steve said.

The Zucchini Brothers think that's because they aim to produce "great music," not great children's music.

"If you've got a good song, a good melody " parents like that stuff as much as kids," Steve said. "If you're paying attention to your craft, everyone's going to like it."

And there's no denying they pay ample attention to their craft. The Zucchini Brothers' calendar is constantly full, and when they're not performing, they're often honing their skills in the studio.

"Anything good that happens, we've worked our rear ends off for that," Sam said.

So, while in some regards they're surprised that the three of them have achieved the success they have, it also seems like a sweet reward.

"When you work as hard as we have at something, sometimes it's surprising and nice," Steve said. "I'm glad it happened."

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