Hot Peas ‘N Butter – Best of the Bowl, Ingles y Español (2009, self-released)
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As you might guess from the big “volume 5” slapped on Best of the Bowl‘s artwork, Hot Peas ‘N Butter have been around for awhile — in fact, their bilingual music should be familiar to anyone who spends time on the Nick Jr./Noggin end of the TV dial. They’ve certainly earned enough success to pause for a reassessment of their most popular material, which is exactly what co-founders Daniel Lapidus and Francisco Cotto do here, re-recording 11 favorites that, in the words of Lapidus, “are the songs that audiences ask for over and over again.
Even for Hot Peas ‘N Butter novices, it shouldn’t be hard to hear why the band’s fans love these songs — they’re deliciously fun, danceable pan-cultural blends, and whether or not you live in a bilingual house, or are interested in exposing your children to world music, you should find Best of the Bowl wonderfully, instantly addictive. And if you do happen to be raising a miniature army of merengue listeners, well…it’s hard to imagine a better album to share with your kids this fall. To sample music, videos, and more from the band, visit their website — just be prepared to stay awhile, and probably spend some dinero while you’re there.