By MIKE CHAIKEN
In the beginning, there were two. Then there were three. Now there are five.
And The Penniless Wild are making some noise in Hartford this weekend.
Originally, the group was a folk duo with Carson Millican and Harrison Poltorak.
“We met when we were little kids, grew up together, and started messing around with songwriting at a pretty early age,” said Carson. “Harrison always played the guitar and I would always write lyrics to whatever he had come up with.”
“I was given a banjo as a present and I started picking that alongside his acoustic guitar and we called it urban folk for lack of a better way to describe it,” said Carson.
For a while, Carson and Harrison were joined by Mike Visconti, who played drums. (He now plays bass for the group).
Soon enough, the move was afoot to add more members.
“We realized how much more we could experiment with the more people we had to create with, and we kind of couldn’t turn off that desire,” said Carson.
“We met Noel (Roberge of Bristol, on drums) and Ruben (Soto also of Bristol, on keys) a little over a year ago and it clicked within the first sit-down,” said Carson.
With five on board, Carson said the sound of The Penniless Wild is fuller. “It’s electric, and we found that plugging in and hitting a bit harder drove that home.”
Although they call themselves as “alternative indie rock,” Carson said the description is not quite fitting. “We’re a rock band, we put on a rock show, the indie alternative aspect is derived from us also stripping down, or playing a song that’s not a full blown rock song but a deconstructed lyric driven slower song.”
In terms of the band’s genre interests, Carson said, “I grew up on everything, we all did… We all have a great appreciation for all music, this is just what naturally came out when we all sat down.”
The Penniless Wild released an EP in 2017. But new music is coming, said Carson.
“(We) have just wrapped up a full band project, which we have never had the pleasure of doing up until now. And we will be slowly releasing it in parts in the coming months,” said Carson.
When the Penniless Wild take the stage at Arch Street Tavern, Carson said audiences should “expect a rock show with some time to breathe… Our set list is something we love to put together because a good set list is like a good mix tape… We only do originals, we have always done it that way, we have so much music that we get to work on together that we love being able to share it with everyone.
The Penniless Wild perform at Arch Street in Tavern on Saturday, Feb. 16.
For more information, go to ThePennilessWild.com.