What's Cookin' on Wine with Michael Horn

1/27-Micahel Horn & Nicole Nielsen visit with Elliott Dolin and Michael Baldacci

January 28, 201452 min
Elliott Dolin - Proprietor, Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards In addition to making Malibu wine, you might also be interested to hear that he is a former musician who’s played with legends like Willy Nelson, Johnny Cash, and the Everly Brothers. There’s an ethereal halo of positivity surrounding Elliott Dolin that immediately sets one at ease. It’s clear that this energy has fueled much of his journey through life and spurred a silent accord with destiny. He works hard and stays true to himself and, in return, fate has guided him through the successful pursuit of his passions. Elliott often says, “Action breeds action,” a celestial phrase that is evident in the various aspects of his life. Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Northern New Jersey, Elliott spent much of his childhood in and around metropolitan Manhattan. Most Saturdays and summer school vacations found him working at his father’s electronics store in Lower Manhattan, an hour’s train ride from home. By the age of 13, Elliott had developed a passion for the music of The Beach Boys, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and like many of his peers, he dreamed of playing in a band. Recognizing the cultural “it” status of the guitar, he “picked up” the electric bass guitar to round out the lineup in a fledgling local band. His weekly excursions to work in Manhattan provided the opportunity to make regular pilgrimages to window shop for the latest Fender bass guitars and amps at the array of music stores that lined West 48th St., fueling his desire to save up and purchase his own. Ultimately, he was able to invest his savings and purchase his first electric bass guitar from one the music shops on West 48th St.Elliott’s passion for music led him to develop his talent to the point where he was getting hired for paid working gigs. He actively sought out varied and diverse opportunities to hone his skills and develop connections. He played college “mixers,” he played “society gigs” (weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, etc), he played in the house orchestra at a hotel in New York’s famed Catskill Mountains and he got his chance to rock at Manhattan’s Wagon Wheel on 45th Street and the world-famous Metropole Café  in Times Square. In the early 1970’s, he played bass for the original Manhattan Transfer prior to their signing with Columbia Records and recording their first album. After a stint with a Jersey Shore band by the name of “Lazarus,” Elliott was also approached to join the band of then-unknown local musician Bruce Springsteen. Instead, he opted for an opportunity to volunteer to go to Israel for six months during the Yom Kippur War, harvesting grapefruit to fill in for army reservists who were in the battlefield. In retrospect, he considers this a fortunate choice because, as he says, “I have no regrets. Where else would I want to be but where I am right now?” When Elliott returned to the U.S. in 1974, he sought a change of pace from the urban lifestyle of Manhattan. He packed up his red Peugeot and drove to Nashville, which had become “the” scene for music and a place to actually make a living playing music. There, Elliott spent several years on tour as the band leader and bassist for Grammy-award winning country music artist Donna Fargo, and he later played with legends like Ray Price and Brenda Lee. His most memorable experience was working as a staff musician for Country Music Hall of Fame producer Jack Clement, often getting to jam with legends such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and the Everly Brothers. While working with Clement, a partnership with CBS Records of Sweden ensued, giving Elliott the opportunity to work in Sweden for six months as staff musician at the legendary recording studio where the first Abba hits were recorded. During this time, he had the opportunity to play on multiple albums recorded by Sweden’s top artists and played live performances in 31 cities throughout the country. The gig was great money—all expenses paid. Elliott’s success

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