kid's music reviews

Hot Peas 'N Butter Volume 4

You’ll quickly notice three things about Hot Peas ‘N Butter, the popular children’s music group from New York City. First, you will immediately recognize that they have one of the funniest band names in music history. Second, within a few beats you’ll understand that Hot Peas ‘N Butter play a sizzlin’ brand of uplifting Latin-inspired music for kids. Lastly, you’ll learn that these guys and gals love making music for the toddler and preschool set. You can hear the ear-to-ear smiles on the band member’s faces – they practically leap through the stereo and give you a big hug. When you own a Hot Peas ‘N Butter record you become a part of their big extended family, that is the overriding vibe on this wonderful, warm album.

The band is comprised of two core players, one from Brooklyn via Belgium (Danny) and the other from the Bronx by way of Puerto Rico (Frank). It’s no surprise then that the Hot Peas ‘N Butter sound is as culturally rich and musically diverse as their own geographical paths.

Hot Peas ‘N Butter deftly mix grown-up music with child-friendly lyrics as a means of creating an authentic Latin-blues-rock sound that the entire family can enjoy together. The music is high quality studio work without ever feeling slick. There is an honest, organic feel to the production of Hot Peas ‘N Butter Volume 4.

What I love most about good kid’s music is the ability for it to transcend age and place. A quality kiddie record will sound as good at home during dinner as it will in the car on a road trip. Hot Peas ‘N Butter Volume 4 is so enjoyable musically that you can pop it in at any moment and make whoever is within earshot instantly happy.

Listening to bilingual cuts like “Somos Familia” and “Ocho Candelikas” will transport your family to a Carribean island but then expect to be whisked away to Beale St. in Memphis for “Jam House Blues”. Hot Peas ‘N Butter are capable of some soothing and beautiful lullaby-ish melodies as well, as evident on the sweet “Beautiful Dream”, the touching “Time to Fly” and the smokey “In Belgian Rain” – a solo guitar piece sung by Michael Lapidus. The family affair continues on my favorite track “Peggy-O”, a traditional tune sung by Susan Lapidus.

Watch the video for “Different Spokes for Different Folks” and sample all the cuts from the new disc.

Hurry over to their website to purchase the new CD and then make plans to catch Hot Peas ‘N Butter live this summer!

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