Way Up High (1997)
Sam Elwitt may be Nutley, New Jersey's most prolific musician. His long list of projects includes a lounge band (Nutley Brass), a punk band (Sea Monkeys), an AC/DC cover band (The Dirt Cheap) and an old timey country outfit (the Small Potatoes), to just name a few. However, my favorite project of his are the psych-pop home recordings that he initally released as the Hazeltones and later under his own name. Elwitt’s brother Jonathan wrote much of the lyrics and Elwitt played all the instrumentation and sang.
Elwitt started recording solo material at home in the early '90s, releasing the best of these under the Hazeltones moniker on a 7" EP called "Scratch the Surface." Released by a tiny German label, the EP featured four terrific slices of '60s influenced indie pop but the 7" only garnered a few reviews and disappeared quickly. Ian Schlein, one of my favorite vendors at the WFMU record fair turned me on to it, and I recently used the closing track "Delirious" on Tiny Idols, Vol. 3 which comes out in July.
Elwitt dropped the Hazeltones name and continued recording throughout the '90s, hoping to release a full-length CD under his own name. He even created the artwork (seen above) but lost momentum and the project remains unreleased today.
For more info and plenty of Elwitt's music, check out his site here.