American Parlor Songbook

  • Hosted by JP Houston, Julie Van Dusen

Come into the Parlor for clever songs, charming stories, and hilarious sketches each week. Hosted from the piano by acclaimed composer JP Houston, with his wife, comic actress Julie Van Dusen. JP and Julie are joined by special guests from national music acts to raconteurs and stand-ups. American Parlor Songbook has been recorded in front of live audiences at the Tudor House Theater in Lake Arrowhead CA, and at venues across the country.

JP Houston is a Canadian born singer, songwriter, pianist, and producer. JP has a large catalog of songs composed for record, theater and television, from Funny or Die Presents to the Big Comfy Couch. He has written for BBC, HBO, CBC, PBS and countless others. Houston has been nominated for a Canadian Emmy for best score.

In addition to his composing work, JP is an accomplished performer who has toured andrecorded all over North America and Europe.

Most recently in Brian Bell’s Weezer side project The Relationship. In 2013, he wrapped a 2 year stint leading the house band at the legendary venue, Pappy and Harriet’s in PioneerTown CA. The popular shows saw JP trading songs with the likes of Victoria Williams, Band Of Horses, The Jay Hawks,M.Ward, John Doe, and a host of other notable guests who sat in each week.

Houston has also worked extensively in comedy clubs and theaters as a performer and musical director including shows at UCB, Steve Allen Theatre, and 24th St Theater,to name a few.

Julie Van Dusen is a stage actress hailing from Michigan. She is an alumni of the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy, and a graduate from Oakland University’s theater program. Since earning her degree, Julie has held key rolls in productions including Diary of Ann Frank (Jet Theatre), Psycho Beach Party (Strand Theatre), Twelfth Night (Attic Theatre), and The Fantastics (Henry Ford Theatre). Van Dusen has also worked in comedy and improv, with stints in Detroit productions of Tony and Tina’s Wedding, and improv group Awkward Silence.

11/1/19 - Space Camp

Nov 1, 2019

Join us for a show about space. Alt-right radio crank Aaron White communicates with an interdimensional being, retired actress Martha Young makes a sci-fi comeback, Actor Brendan McCay brings us to the Ted Talk of a disgruntled astronaut, and Michigan songwriter Matt Gabriel sings some thoughtful acoustic pop.

10/25/19 - The New Old Show

Oct 25, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories and songs recorded over the past year at venues around So-Cal. With previously unaired bits from Sachet Vaneers, alt-right conspiracy nut Aaron White, singers Coco Love Alcorn, Jon DeRosa, Joey Chrisman, and more!

10/18/19 - American Parlor Songbook Of The Dead

Oct 18, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs from the dark side. We drop in a horror movie pitch meeting, Emil Konk lectures on fear, retired actress Martha Young provides comentary for one of her classic B-movies, and Joshua Kjerstad of The Clouds performs his haunting folk.

10/11/19 - The Greatest Episode Ever

Oct 11, 2019

We celebrate greatness this week, with an episode from the studio. Canadian singer-songwrite Rueben DeGroot performs his heart felt roots tunes, and comedian Matt Knudsen brings us another edition of The APS News.

10/4/19 Oh Canada

Oct 4, 2019

Join us for an episode from the Studio. It's all things Canuck, on a show about Canada. JP Sings about universal healthcare, and Sachet Vaneers interviews Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Cryptozoologist Emil Konk lectures on northern beasts, and BC singer song-writer Carolyn Mark performs her Canadiana tunes.

9/27/19 - Destiny

Sep 27, 2019

Join us for an episode recorded at The Tudor House Theater in Lake Arrowhead, CA. We'll surrender to fate on an show about Destiny. Songwriter Myshkin performs her quirky folk tunes, JP tells a true tale of bottle top prizes, a psychic uses tech as her conduit, and cryptozoologist Emil Konk lectures on luck.

9/20/19 - Songs Under the Desk

Sep 20, 2019

Join us for an episode on Song. We'll explore lyric and melody with a tune about the pope, and a true tale about a childhood basement band. Comedian Steven Benaquist brings us a one man sketch on an imaginary rock legend. We look for some songs under the desk of that popular public radio music contest, and find some over looked entrants.

9/13/19 - Memory

Sep 13, 2019

Join us for an episode recorded at the Tudor House Theatre in Lake Arrowhead California. We'll scratch our heads and try to recall as much as we can about memory. JP sings listener mail, and tells a story about his mother's forgettfulness. A complex brain surgery solves America's problems, and retired actress Martha Young attends the wrong high school reunion. Songwriter Jason Feddy, and comedian John Pate perform.

9/6/19 - Surveillance

Sep 6, 2019

Join us for a show about surveillance. JP sings about a wiretapped Barbie Doll, we dig up another 20th century propaganda reel, Matt Knudsen returns with another APS News, and Brooklyn indie act The Davenports perform.

8/30/19 - Pop Culture Meltdown

Aug 30, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs about pop culture, featuring new bits and some old favorites. April Hava Shenkman brings us back to the 1940s with her vocal gymnastics, Zach Sherwin raps an anagram, JP tells a childhood tale about fashion, and musical guests Eva and the Vagabond Tales, Black Tongued Bells, and Jordie Lane & Clare Reynolds perform.

8/23/19 - Desert Stars

Aug 23, 2019

JP sings advice, answers listener mail, and tells a true tale of an ineffectual childhood gang. Alt-right conspiracy host Aaron White interviews a desert mole person, singer-songwriter Mark Olson performs his folky tunes, and crytozoologist Emil Konk lectures on monsters.

8/16/19 - Truth

Aug 16, 2019

Join us as we try and decipher alternative facts from reality, on an episode about truth. JP answers listener mail in song, and tells another childhood tail. Our home-shool valedictorian does his commencement speech, and Aussie songwriter Clare Reynolds performs her heart-felt pop tunes.

8/9/19 - Life

Aug 9, 2019

Enter kicking, exit with a kiss, it's life, that's all. JP tells of a childhood awakening, a robot date goes well, Matt Coleman sings his folky pop, and comedian Steven Benaquist performs a piece from his "Letters to Tupac".

8/2/19 - Schrodinger's Episode

Aug 2, 2019

Join us for a show about philosophy. Sachet Vaneers interviews Elon Musk, Jason Feddy sings another item from the police blotter, comedian Matt Knudsen does some stand-up, and musical performances from Canadian singer Carolyn Mark, Jonathan Eller, and acoustic latin fusion group Machin.

7/26/19 - Law & Order

Jul 26, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs about Law and Order. JP tells a true childhood tale about a run-in with the Canadian Police, Sly Chum bring us an outlaw ballad, and Montreal singer-songwriter Jason Bajada performs his melancholy pop tunes.

7/19/19 - Technology

Jul 19, 2019

JP sings the news about the Pokemon Go fad, and tells a childhood tale about the Rubix Cube. Retired actress Martha Young gets a high-tech hip replacement. Phil Proctor and Jamie Alcroft return with a routine, and Australian singers Jordie Lane and Clare Reynolds perform their rootsy duets.

7/12/19 - Emotional Breakdown

Jul 12, 2019

Join us for a show about human emotion. JP tells a true childhood tale about an exhausting bike ride, Steven Benaquist does a baseball announcer who shares too much information, and Inland Empire singer Josh Cuadra performs his quirky pop tunes.

7/5/19 - Politically Correct

Jul 5, 2019

We'll get politically correct at The Tudor House Theatre, with roots rockers The Claremont Voodoo Society, This Is Us actor Bill Chott, and rapping comedian Zach Sherwin.

6/28/19 - Beauty

Jun 28, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs about beauty. JP tells another true childhood tale, a public radio news host mistakes poverty for fashion, retired actress Martha Young competes in the Miss Glolden Years Pageant, performance artist April Hava Shenkman considers motherhood, and singer Daniel Rosa performs his heartfelt tunes.

6/21/19 - Immoral Authority

Jun 21, 2019

Join us for a show about morality. A conspiracy host recieves a new set of commandments, retired actress Martha Young pushes the boundries of decency at the condo shuffleboard court, JP tells another true childhood tale of right and wrong, comedian Steven Benaquist returns as Guru Barry Lorbo, and duo Nathan & Jessie perform their gypsy folk.

6/14/19 - Summer Garage Sale

Jun 14, 2019

We're too hot and lazy this week, so here's a clip show. Great finds like Bill Chott doing magic on the radio, Boomers riffing on their bench, JP's true childhood tale about a summer road trip, and Montreal singer Patrick Krief.

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs about the ad business. Art Podell sings the news, Steve Young sings his song from the Netflix documentary Bathtubs Over Broadway, we uncover a lost outtake from retired golden era actress Martha Young, and JP tells a true childhood tale about falling for a toy commercial pitch.

5/31/19 - Grudge Match 3000

May 31, 2019

An episode on conflict, recorded live around California. JP tells a true childhood tale about a street hockey game, Qanon joins alt-right conspiracy theorist Aaron White, and comedian April Hava Shenkman brings us her wacky vocal gymnastics.

5/24/19 - Happiness

May 24, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs from Hemet, CA. We'll search for bliss on an episode about happiness. We uncover another lost propaganda cartoon, motivational speaker Angus Rage delivers a message about the power of happiness, Eva Mikhailna sings some new haunted folk tunes, and retired actress Martha Young finds joy in chaos.

5/17/19- Historical Parlor Timebook

May 17, 2019

An episode from the studio on history. JP tells the true childhood tale of his neighborhood gang, retired actress Martha Young gets honored in Mongolia, comedian Steven Benaquist brings us an antique captains log, and singer Steven John Taylor performs.

5/10/19 - The End of the World

May 10, 2019

We'll hunker down in the bunker and ride out the end of the world this week, with comedian Matt Knudsen, and singer-songwriter Jon DeRosa. JP tells a childhood tale of cold war fears, conspiracy radio host Aaron White goes off the deep end, and retired actress Martha Young ruins the water supply.

5/3/19 - The Precise Comedy of Science

May 3, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs about science, recorded at The Tudor House Theatre. April Hava Shenkman returns with her vocal gymnastics, and L.A. duo Aloud perform their passionate acoustic pop tunes.

4/26/19 - Evolution

Apr 26, 2019

Join us for a show on evolution. JP tells a true childhood tale about his pet hamster, a neural implant takes a man to the next level, William Vallenti sings the news about Wallstreet, Emil Konk lectures on monsters, and California roots rockers The Legion Of Decency perform.

4/19/19 - Relationship Advice

Apr 19, 2019

Join us for an episode on relationships. JP tells a true childhood tale, Ryan Sickler talks about the birth of his child, pop duo Teammate perform, and Jason Feddy sings the police blotter.

4/12/19 - Pumping Irony

Apr 12, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs on health and fitness. JP tells a true childhood tale about chickenpox and sings a song about a hunger strike, Steven Benaquist brings us a one-man sketch on the tabaco industry, and soulful singer-songwriter Rosa Pullman performs.