Sounds of Autumn – Local Artists Perform Weekend Sets at Canterbury Village’s Open Air Markets

The Keynote Sisters perform at Canterbury’s Village Open Air Markets. Photo – Mark Reitenga

Strong flavors of folk, country and rock will fill the autumn air at Lake Orion’s Canterbury Village this weekend.

Those aromatic sounds will come from a talented roster of metro Detroit singer-songwriters performing intimate outdoor acoustic sets at Open Air Markets Saturday and Sunday.

This weekend’s lineup will feature James Wailin, Sean Blackman, Al Carmichael, Tom Butwin, Johnny Rhodes and Jon Rice, said Mark Reitenga, a Royal Oak folk rock singer-songwriter who curates live music for Open Air Markets.

“This is a pure energy boost because many of the musicians have been laying low since March and many of the patrons as well. It’s like two happy colliding forces,” he said.

“The music is the tonal center of the market in that the musicians keep the spirit happy as market goers walk around the vast campus looking for goodies, donuts, cider, clothing and specialty items. The musicians play in the outside dining area to folks on picnic benches and also walking by.”

Outdoor market and live music aficionados can expect masked, socially-distanced crowds at Canterbury Village through Oct. 4. The markets also will showcase the work of local artists, crafters, cooks and jewelers and spotlight a different theme for vendors spaced throughout the village.

“They have been fantastic for the pretty strong socially-distanced crowds and also for the safe-distance and mask-wearing aspect. The musical acts have been superb – with many selling their original CDs and making great tip money from the family-oriented crowd accompanied by dogs,” Reitenga said.

Getting to Know Mark Reitenga

Mark Reitenga curates live music for Canterbury Village’s Open Air Markets. Photo courtesy of Mark Reitenga

A longtime musical fixture in the local singer-songwriter scene, Reitenga has booked artists for Open Air Markets for two years. Like his peers, he’s released several EPs and singles while performing at metro Detroit venues for more than 30 years.

Inspired by The Beatles, Cat Stevens, Marvin Gaye and Simon & Garfunkel, Reitenga and his brother absorbed their parents’ record collection while strumming on tennis racquet-inspired guitars in Northville. He took up guitar in middle school and played his first gig at the South Lyon Hotel at age 18.

Reitenga also studied guitar with Neil Woodward, who’s infamously known as Michigan’s Troubadour, and continued playing covers and originals throughout the Motor City.

With a growing roster of originals, Reitenga wrote his latest singles, the fiesta-filled “It’s Cinco de Mayo,” and the philosophizing, cosmic ode “The Wonder,” during quarantine.

Infused with heavy, vibrant acoustic strums and melodic Croce-meets-Chapin vocals, he longs for margaritas, mojitos and tequila with missed friends on “It’s Cinco de Mayo.” Reitenga fittingly responds, “I’ve been stuck in my own house for too many days/My brain’s going crazy, my mind’s in a haze/I need conversation, my home’s no vacation/I just got to get out of this place.”

“This is simply a fun party song in the style of Jimmy Buffet. It’s joyful and easy to sing along with,” said Reitenga, who wrote the track for a Facebook Live party.

Outside of virtual party anthems, Reitenga questions the universe on “The Wonder” as thoughtful acoustic strums extend beyond the stratosphere. Through tender Sufjan Stevens-like vocals, he reflects, “And all of the stars and all of the constellations/I look in awe at the vastness of space/All of the people and all of the animals/The ocean swimming, creatures keep pace/And I’m amazed, always amazed of the wonder.”

“This song is about the wonder of life and how it drives me to enjoyment. I hope ‘The Wonder’ inspires people to keep wondering. Wonder is what makes us keep living and dreaming,” he said.

As a next step, Reitenga plans to officially record both tracks and release a full-length album or EP in 2021. “I would love to, but I want to finish these two songs first and see how well they are received,” he said.

Event details:

Canterbury Village Open Air Markets

– Saturday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

– Sunday, Sept. 27, noon to 5 p.m.

– Saturday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

– Sunday, Oct. 4, noon to 5 p.m.

2359 Joslyn Court, Lake Orion

Admission: Free | Parking: $5


Saturday, Sept. 26

10 a.m. to noon – James Wailin/Sean Blackman

Noon to 2 p.m. – Al Carmichael

2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Tom Butwin


Sunday, Sept. 27

Noon to 2 p.m. – Johnny Rhodes

2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Jon Rice


Saturday, Oct. 3

10 a.m. to noon – Steve Spees

Noon to 2 p.m. – Al Carmichael

2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Tom Butwin


Sunday, Oct. 4

Noon to 2 p.m. – Steve Taylor

2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Mar Brisa

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