The roots of All-She-Wrote go pretty far back.
In 1966, David LaPlante completed making his first guitar. He was 16 years old. Partnering with friend Stephen Pounds, they deciphered the intricate fingerpicking they heard on albums like Peter Paul & Mary’s In The Wind and Simon & Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence. Their first gigs were only a year away, playing at schools and youth centers in their hometown of Cheshire, Connecticut.
For the next 30+ years, they performed as LaPlante and Pounds covering the Northeast, in iconic folk coffeehouses like Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY, and Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, and sharing festival stages with performers like Pete Seeger and Bill Morrissey.
In 1983 they released their LP, Big Kids, Little Kids, recorded at Noel Paul Stookey’s Bluehill, Maine, studio, Neworld. During this time they forged a relationship with acoustic bassist, Dick Kniss, best known for his work with Peter Paul & Mary and John Denver. Eventually, Dick would play bass for All-She-Wrote and David LaPlante would build guitars for Noel Paul Stookey.
In 1970, Gloria Jean made her first songwriting attempts which would be published in her high school’s arts magazine. Known around Syosset High School on Long Island, NY, for singing in the student lobby, her first public performance would be the school’s Folkathon, singing Peter Paul & Mary’s If I Were Free, a song she still performs today.
Performances continued through college, along with a brief stint helping to run the Albany University “Freeze Dried Coffeehouse” with banjo/dobro player, Roger Weiss. She meets Robin & Linda Williams, Jack Hardy, U. Utah Phillips, Bill Staines, Lou London, Paul Siebel, Tom Mitchell. Many of their songs find their way into her set list, with her own songs still rarely heard. It was a time of learning.
In 1993, Gloria submits an audition tape for Rosanne Cash’s Essence of Songwriting workshop at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, starting her on a songwriting mission. She studies with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, of Flatlanders fame, and at Penny Nichol’s SummerSongs where she co-writes several songs with new colleagues. In 1999, she records a live cd at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY, featuring her original compositions.
A 2001 Peter Paul & Mary tribute fundraiser at Caffe Lena brought LaPlante & Pounds and Gloria Jean together, and they knew immediately they had something special. David & Stephen’s guitar style complimented Gloria’s original songs impeccably. Gloria’s vocals added another layer to the authentic folk renditions Stephen and David had performed for years. They made the trio official, and so began All-She-Wrote.
In 2004, All-She-Wrote release their first cd, self-titled, which consists of all original songs penned by Gloria Jean and even one by David LaPlante. Earning the prestigious ranking as one of the “Top Albums and Songs” for November 2004 by the DJ listserve FolkDJ-L, this album continues to be played around the world by our Radio Friends.
One of the memorable musicians to join them on this cd and at shows was Dick Kniss, longtime bassist for Peter Paul & Mary and John Denver. Dick added his incomparable acoustic bass playing to their sound as well as lending his musical ear and knowledgeable input into the project. Dick became as much a part of All-She-Wrote as the three who formed the group.
After Dick’s passing in 2012, All-She-Wrote had the honor of performing at his memorial at the Woodstock Playhouse on May 2012 on stage with Noel Paul Stookey and Peter Yarrow, as well as many others who had played with Dick through the years. He is always missed…..
In 2017, All-She-Wrote released their second cd, Passing It On, this time including several covers from their shows along with new originals. The cover songs range from some well known Peter Paul & Mary (If I Were Free and Polly Von) as well as lesser known David Colburn (Whoo Doo). It also earned the prestigious ranking as one of the “Top Albums and Songs” by the DJ listserve FolkDJ-L for February and March 2017.
All-She-Wrote continues performing small concerts and shows around the Northeast usually with the addition of Larry Packer, former fiddle/mandolin player for The Band and accompanist for just about everyone you can think of.