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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Acoustic Bluesmen Bingham and Thorne Kick Off MSU Performance Series

The duo kicks off Minnesota State University’s Fall Performance Series today.

Tanner Kent, Mankato Free Press, 9-6-2012

On stage, acoustic blues guitarists Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne seem as if they were destined to play together.

And that may well be the case.

Though the two moved in distinctly different musical circles — Bingham helped form Minnesota’s legendary Lamont Cranston Band while Thorne played in a handful of Twin Cities bands before relocating to northern Minnesota 25 years ago — one bold move brought them together.

The duo kicks off Minnesota State University’s Fall Performance Series today.

Here is an excerpt from the band’s biography: “In 1995 Gordon Thorne showed up unannounced on the front porch of Bob Bingham's remote Northern Minnesota log home. They quickly became friends, which soon led to the musi­cal collaboration which exists to this day.

“In 1996 Bob and Gordon were hired individually as solo acts at The Blues On The Range Festival in Chisholm. After they had both performed individually, promoter Chris Mackie informed them that a band had canceled and he needed an act to replace them immediately. Bob and Gordy proceeded to go backstage and draw up a song list, and within 15 minutes were out onstage playing for the first time as a fingerstyle duo.

The crowd responded enthusiastically, which inspired them to record their first album, ‘Out Of The Desert And Into The Blues,’ in Phoenix soon after.”

The Star Tribune called Bingham & Thorne “ one of the best ad hoc acoustic duos in the country — a double shot of fingerstyle blues at it’s finest.”

Bingham and Thorne characterize their music this way: “ Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne are a couple of guys who like to scratch around in the fertile ground of American traditional music, unearthing both the forgotten and the familiar.

Upon discovering a tune, a clever turning of phrase — or just a simple lick — they're on it like a chicken on a Junebug; eating it up, digesting it, and storing it away with all the other little nuggets they've dug up.

Over the years they've col­lected a real gizzardful.

Eventually these bits of Americana find their way to the fingers, instruments and voices — emerging in a new form.”

The entire version of this story can be read in a print copy of the Mankato Free Press. Call the Mankato Free Press at 625-4451 or (800) 657-4662 to find out how to purchase a print copy. The Free Press also prints select stories online at

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