C4 Blues Band
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C4 Blues Band


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"Local teens take on the music scene -- signing with a record label, playing with the legendary Buddy Guy"

Rob Earnshaw
Times Correspondent
Monday, August 18, 2008

If you think 13 is too young to be singing the blues, think again. Chesterton's Chris Pabon, aka "Little Chris," is an upcoming blues guitarist/singer who's already played alongside the legendary Buddy Guy.

In fact, Pabon's band, Little Chris and the Phat Groove, is a trio whose combined ages aren't even close to that of the Guy, 72. The Phat Groove is bassist Trevor Caruso, 17, and his brother, drummer Derek Caruso, 19 ("I'm the elderly one in the group").

The trio will perform in concert Thursday at Quaker Steak & Lube in Portage.

Local musicphiles may be familiar with the Caruso brothers from their other incarnation, C4 blues band (which just signed with Koko Taylor's record label).

Pabon met the brothers "through the music scene."

"We always wanted to play together," Derek said.

Pabon wouldn't be in the music scene if he hadn't asked his father three years ago to "take down that electric guitar" hanging on the garage wall.

"He showed me how to play "Smoke on the Water," Pabon recalled. "That's how everybody starts out."

Pabon's early repertoire was hard rock because that's what his dad was into.

"I was playing Metallica and stuff," Pabon said. "Then I went to an open mic night and had to play acoustic -- so I learned some blues."

Along with Guy, Pabon's new choice of musical genre would find him sharing the stage with the likes of Ronnie Baker Brooks, The Kinsey Report, Howard and the White Boys, Funky MojoDaddy and Steepwater.

Pabon has performed in front of audiences at Buddy Guy's Legends, The Chicago Blues Festival, Leroy's Hot Stuff in Porter, Rosa's in Chicago and Shoreline Brewery in Michigan City.

C4 blues band has jammed on many the same stage.

"It's very rare to play the blues at our age," Pabon said. "Usually our age plays rock or rap or something."

The band said they'll mix up their blues set list with some classic rock, jams, originals and covers.

"I've been working on a lot of original material," Pabon said. "I've got about seven or eight originals." Pabon's musical influences include Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Lang, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tower of Power, Joe Walsh and Stevie Wonder.

The Caruso's influences include Steely Dan, Hendrix, Vaughn and Albert King.

They all enjoy Bob Marley.

"There's nothing wrong with the reggae man," Derek said.

Pabon is an eighth-grader at Chesterton Middle School ("most of my teachers don't even know I play"), while the Caruso brothers are products of Hobart High School. Derek graduated last year, Trevor is a junior.


"Little Chris and the Phat Groove"

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: Quaker Steak & Lube, 6245 Ameriplex Drive, Portage. (219) 764-9464 - NWI Times


Pass The Dynamite - Spellbound Records
(Koko Taylor Foundation)

Due 2010



New generation blues band, C4, owes its roots to a Caruso family jam held over 7 years ago. A Spirit of the Blues possessed 12-year-old Derek Caruso (guitar, vocals) and 10-year-old Trevor Caruso (bass, vocals). Within a month's time, these two young prodigies had established their "groove thang".

The first public performance of the Brothers Caruso was Hobart Middle School. Joined by three classmates on horns, the band was quickly established. The band then morphed to a 3 piece, with only Phil Hardesty (guitar, vocals) remaining. Their youth and talent earned them a place in the NW Indiana club scene.

In May 2007, the boys met Noah Edmaiston (drums, vocals) and C4 Blues Band was established. The young blues crusaders won a Battle of the Bands sponsored by 103.9 X-Rock Radio, and caught the eye of Shirley King, B.B. King's daughter.

Shirley King took the boys to heart and gave them a spot in her local tour. The next stop for C4 was the Munster Blues Festival, where they met Clarence Stevens from WGVE 88.7 FM the host of "The Blues You Can Use" radio show, with his cohost Koko Taylor.

C4 Blues band met Koko Taylor, which led to their being the first artists signed to her new label, "Spellbound Records".

Koko then invited the boys to perform at the Koko Taylor Foundation fundraiser held at Buddy Guys' Legends in February 2008. Their 10-minute gig slot grew to 45-minutes, followed by a standing ovation from Chicago's Blues legends. The band also performed at a private party for Koko Taylor following the 2008 Chicago Blues Fest.

C4 Blues debut CD, "Pass The Dynamite" is being recorded, release date 2009. C-4 Blues band continues to rock Indiana, keeping the blues alive, and carrying the legacy to a new generation of Blues lovers.