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After having their children, they quickly found out they had inherited their musical gene.

"Both of the boys started out of babywalkers," Raul said. "One of the very first times we performed in [1987,] we had our three daughters singing, me and [Sylvia} playing and we did like two or three songs. We had them all in line at 2, 4, and 6 years old."

Forming a full-time mariachi with his children wasn't an idea friends and family were crazy about. Raul and Sylvia prayed for an answer.

"One time, I went to the bedroom, and I barely got on my knees, and I heard a voice say do whatever you want just follow me," Raul said.

After that, school was no longer in a classroom, but instead at home. Home became a 27-foot RV which took them from gig to gig.

"We did the fair-carnival circuit for a while since we already felt like freaks, anyway. We weren't normal. I guess because we didn't go to school. I think the circus life suited us well because our friends were the clowns," daughter Julie said.

They are different - no question about that. They play some Johnny Cash in their shows and are even unique in how they look.

"My sister Amanda used to have really short hair, purple, pink, whatever colors. I had a mohawk with a zebra stripe all the way down. It's just different than any other mariachi," Vicente said.

Son Raul says that being in the mariachi with his family kept him grounded.

"It kept us pretty close and functioning as a family. Even though we had our problems we could work through them," Raul said.

"I think one thing our parents gave us was an extraordinary life, and I think that's one thing I want to give to my kids," Julie said.

Even though they are a non-traditional mariachi with a non-traditional upbringing, the outcome was a family with an unbreakable bond.

Visit www.mariachivasquez.com for more information.

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