By Samantha Hatfield   Published Jul 07, 2005 at 5:21 AM

{image1}Lake Street Cafe in Elkhart Lake hosts some of the best acoustic artists in the region at the first annual Midwest Acoustic Music Festival on Saturday, July 9. Best of all, admission is free for the noon until midnight event.

Shannon Brunet, guitarist for the acoustic duo Drops of Blue, hatched the idea for the festival and is its coordinator. Brunet was looking for festivals to play at and found it difficult to find them.

"An entire group of artists, and their fan base, were not being served," Brunet says. "So I took it upon myself to fill the void. I secured the location, booked the acts, and the festival has since taken on a life of its own."

Brunet handpicked the line-up himself. Headlining the fest are Owen Sartori of Minneapolis, Dave Tamkin of Chicago and Milwaukee band Thomas Lane.

Sartori has played in the bands Push and A Band Called Delicious, both of which found themselves on top college playlists. However, he decided to focus on a solo career and is now working on his first solo release. For the MAMF, his former bandmate Carolyn Koenig will accompany him.

Tamkin and his band play a diverse mix of intimate acoustic rock and full-blown band jamming. For the last two years Tamkin has been one of two house acts at Chicago's House of Blues and has toured the country with the likes of Guster, Fountains of Wayne and Stroke 9.

Formerly known as Shimmerdown, Thomas Lane has played at Summerfest and at area colleges. Now working on their first full-length album, "Something to Hold Onto," the band intends to speak to their audience through their effective songwriting.

Other performers include: Debra G., Drops of Blue, Brittney Mitchell, The New Audrey, Julie Moffitt (whose track "Movin' On" is featured on's summer music sampler,) Jenny Dalton, John Statz, Brittany Quaas and Jonathan Delehanty. Many of them are still up-and-coming performers, according to Brunet.

"This is really the only free festival in the Midwest that showcases up-and-coming acoustic musicians," Brunet says.

There has been such a positive response so far that it might be a two-day event next year, says Brunet.

The outdoor festival will be held in the Lake Street Café Beer Garden, 21 S. Lake St., (920) 876-2142. It's an 18 and over show until 8:30 p.m., when it becomes a 21 and up event. For more information about this first annual event, e-mail Brunet