Music forms bond for Dover duo Steffi and Tim

Tim Plimpton and Steffi Holmes, also known as the Dover musical duo Steffi and Tim, will perform Saturday night at the Delaware Friends of Folk monthly Coffee House event. (Submitted photo by David Wolanski)

Tim Plimpton and Steffi Holmes, also known as the Dover musical duo Steffi and Tim, will perform Saturday night at the Delaware Friends of Folk monthly Coffee House event. (Submitted photo by David Wolanski)

It was a love for music and then each other that brought Steffi Holmes and Tim Plimpton together.

First meeting at a study abroad trip to England in 2008 while students at the University of Delaware, the two compared musical notes and then spent time performing together as a hobby until marrying and forming the duo Steffi and Tim.

The Dover pair will bring their blend of original songs and covers from the Great American Songbook to Saturday night’s Delaware Friends of Folk Coffeehouse event in Dover.

They will perform on the same bill as headliner Justin McNatt, of Smyrna, and Bob and The Hob Nobs.

Introduced by a mutual friend while on that trip to England, where they studied music, architecture and more, Ms. Holmes and Mr. Plimpton had an immediate attraction.

“Not a week into the trip, Tim said to me ‘I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I sense a real connection between us that’s pretty special,’ ” Ms. Holmes recalled.

“He was right. We were kindred spirits.”

However, they were both dating other people at the time and remained just friends for the next few years while at the university and afterward.

The two spent hours while in Newark in the school’s practice room just hanging out and performing together. Mr. Plimpton, who was a trombone major, is equally adept on the piano while Ms. Holmes is an accomplished singer.

“Tim has a really great gift to learn, memorize and understand music pretty quickly,” Ms. Holmes said.

“You can give him a Disney song, for instance, and he can pretty much play it for you. We would pick songs out and just do them for ourselves. I’m a big fan of Sara Bareilles and know all of the words to her songs. Tim would hear the music and be able to duplicate it pretty quickly. That’s one of the things I really admire about him.”

That harmony eventually blossomed into a love affair and the two were married in October 2013.

Today, Ms. Holmes, a Dover native, is the Catholic director of music ministries at Dover Air Force Base and a private voice and beginning piano teacher while Mr. Plimpton, from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, is praise and worship leader at Wesley United Methodist Church in Dover where he provides the music for the 11:15 a.m. Sunday service.

The two also have written about a half-dozen songs that they plan to perform at Saturday’s coffeehouse.

Ms. Holmes writes the words while Mr. Plimpton does the music. They run the gamut from blues to easy listening.

In February, they took on a worldwide challenge and wrote tunes for February Album Writing Month, an initiative to get musicians composing and writing.

They recently performed some of those songs at a gathering of FAWM­ers in Wilmington.

“The only rule was that you couldn’t say ‘I’m sorry’ about any song you wrote,” Ms. Holmes said.

“We really thrive off of that group inspiration and it was really good for us.”

When not doing their own stuff, Steffi and Tim can be heard performing standards that have stood the test of time such as “My Funny Valentine” and “Body and Soul.”

“I have always been interested in jazz but didn’t grow up on it. I gained a greater appreciation for jazz standards as I started performing them in different pageants in which I competed,” Ms. Holmes said.

“Tim was a trombonist in his high school jazz band so he has a pretty culturally rich background in jazz.”

The two have performed for two Delmarva Folk Festival Folk Hero competitions, in 2012 and again last year.

“They blew us away during our last Folk Hero Contest, and we have been trying to book them ever since,” said Jon Kidd, board chairman for the Friends of Folk.

“We’re both so busy, we really don’t pursue many performance opportunities, so when they do come up, we take them pretty seriously. We’re pretty excited about Saturday night,” Ms. Holmes said.

Headliner Mr. McNatt is a self-taught guitarist who started recording when he was 18 years old.

His brand of music and lyrics has played to audiences in venues throughout Philadelphia and Washington, as well as Delaware. Although his music has been compared to Dave Matthews and John Mayer, Mr. McNatt describes it as “acoustic, blues, folk, or whatever you want to call it.”

Bob and the Hob Nobs is a new formation of musicians who have been playing around Delmarva for several years.

Led by Bob Frazier, the group features a blend of acoustic instruments and vocal harmonies.

“Our coffeehouse concerts usually feature one or two artists. But when we got the opportunity to book these three outstanding performances, we just couldn’t pass it up,” Mr. Kidd said.

The Saturday concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Wesley College Chapel, Bradford and Division streets in Dover.

Admission is $7, $5 for members of Delaware Friends of Folk. Students receive a 50 percent discount, and children 12 and younger are admitted free.

For more information, visit www.delfolk.org or https://www.facebook.com/delawarefriendsoffollkactivities.

Creedence in Dover

In case you missed the news earlier this week, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino will welcome Creedence Clearwater Revisited for a concert on at 8 p.m. Aug. 22 in the Rollins Center ballroom.

Tickets are priced between $35 and $85, and may be purchased by calling VIP Services at (800) 711-5882 or visiting www.doverdowns.com/entertainment. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

Creedence Clearwater Revisited, who last played Dover Downs in 2012, is led by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, the original rhythm section of Creedence Clearwater Revival. The five-member group released the “Recollection” CD of 22 Creedence Clearwater Revival hits, which was certified Platinum in 2008. Their repertoire of songs performed live include “Down on the Corner,” “Born on the Bayou,” “Susie Q,” “Bad Moon Rising” and many others from the original library.

All-in at Dover Downs

Speaking of Dover Downs, The Masters Poker Series will take place at the venue April 29 through May 3.

Professional players including Tom McEvoy, T.J. Cloutier, Lon McEachern and Kenna James also will participate.

On May 1, the NLH tournament consisting of $25,000 guaranteed, will be scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. On May 2, a NLH Seniors tournament (45 years and older) with $50,000 guaranteed will take place at 11:15 a.m. On May 3, a NLH $50 buy-in with $5,000 guaranteed will begin at 11:15 a.m.

The action will continue on May 23 at 1:15 p.m. featuring $15,000 guaranteed with a $125 buy-in. Rooms are available for $99 with tournament registration..

On May 24, the series will conclude with a $5,000 guaranteed NLH tournament at 11:15 a.m. requiring a $50 buy-in.

High Hand Contests also will run from noon to midnight daily. Players will have the chance to win up to $600 in each contest. Visit the poker room and www.doverdowns.com for details on this and other promotions.

Go under the sea

This weekend, The Clear Space Theatre Company in Rehoboth Beach will present a Spotlight on Young Performers production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.”

The 2008 Broadway musical was based on the 1989 Disney animated film and tells the story of Ariel and her aquatic friends in a magical, underwater kingdom.

Starring in the show are Rose Slavin (Dover High School) as “Ariel,” Hannah Weilminster (Metropolitan School of the Arts in Lorton, Virginia) as the evil “Ursula,” Kyle Atkinson-Steele (Sussex Tech) as “Prince Eric,” Evan Hartnett (Delmarva Christian) as “Sebastian,” Grace Morris (Southern Delaware School of the Arts) as “Flounder,” Alex Ferree (Delaware Tech) as “King Triton,” Kate Carpenter (Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin, Maryland) as “Scuttle” and Meghan Hayward (Dover High School) as “Chef Louis.”

Other cast members include Jamie Ditzel (Stephen Decatur High School); Madeline Barton and Kaitlyn Hamer (Worcester Preparatory School); Lily McDaniel, Ally Ibach, and Delaney Cinnamon (St. Thomas More Academy); Claire Marshall (Delmarva Christian); Daphne Branner and Madeline Betts (Beacon Middle School); Kierstyn Woody (Sussex Tech); Julia Sturla (Southern Delaware School of the Arts); Laci McCoy (East Millsboro Middle School) and Kalista Lawson (Shields Elementary School).

Spotlight on Young Performers is part of the Clear Space Performing Arts Institute and trains students ages 10 to 18 in acting, dance and voice throughout a 10-week rehearsal process culminating in a full weekend of performances.

The shows are at 7 tonight and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the theater at 20 Baltimore Ave.

For reservations call (302) 227-2270, or online at www.ClearSpaceTheatre.org.
Now showing

Opening this weekend in theaters is the comedy “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” the Disney nature film “Monkey Kingdom” and the thriller “Unfriended.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is “Taken 3” and Jennifer Aniston in “Cake.”

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.