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.

12/29/17 - Justice

Jan 2, 2018

Join us for an episode recorded at The Tudor House Theater in Lake Arrowhead, CA. We'll search for mercy on a show about justice. JP tells a true childhood tale about property lines, special guest Art Podell sings the news, Dylan Chambers performs his catchy pop tunes, and Steven Benaquist plays Pastor Scott Gene.

12/15/2017 - Holiday Special

Dec 18, 2017

Join us for our holiday spectacular, recorded live at the Tudor House in Lake Arrowhead, CA. JP tells a true tale of a Christmas prank, Mr. Trump tries to ruin the holidays, and retired actress Martha Young crashes midnight mass. With music from Chris Unck, Jade Bennet & Gino Mateo, and Matthew Szlachetka. Plus comedian Hannah Gansen returns with an alternative holiday classic.

12/8/17 - All Things Must Pass

Dec 11, 2017

All things must pass on an episode about the inevitable direction of time. Sachet Vaneers interviews Julian Assange, Steven Benaquist brings us NPR host "Roger Smeegle", rapping comedian Zach Sherwin turns a phrase, and singer-songwriter Andres Valenzuela performs in the studio.

12/1/17 - The American Scheme

Dec 4, 2017

An episode from Lake Arrowhead, CA. With comedian Steven Benaquist, and singer songwriter Patrick Park. Join us for an episode about con jobs, pyramid schemes, and grifts. JP tells a true childhood tale of a Time Square scam, Steven Benaquist pitches an unorthodox diet plan, and singer songwriter Patrick Park performs his down to earth folk songs.

9/8/17 - Life

Sep 11, 2017


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". 

9/1/17 - Crime

Sep 1, 2017

We get crooked in this episode about crime. JP sings about copyright infringement and tells a story about prank calls. Julie joins in for a send up of HBOs The Brink.

Guests Chikster and April Hava Shenkman take us back to Hollywood's golden age, Steven Benaquist interviews the crime dog, and The Bastards of Belleville perform their harmonica driven gypsy jazz. 

8/25/17 - Privacy

Aug 25, 2017

An episode from Lake Arrowhead with Phil Proctor & Jamie Alcroft's Boomers on a Bench, and folk singer Art Podell.

8/18/17 - Justice

Aug 24, 2017

8/11/17 - Destiny

Aug 24, 2017

8/4/17 - The New Old Show

Aug 24, 2017

7/28/2017 - Happiness

Jul 28, 2017

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.

7/21/2017 - State of the Union

Jul 21, 2017

It's our state of the union address, recorded at The Tudor House Theatre in Lake Arrowhead, CA.

JP sings the address, and sings a new anthem. We tune in to another propaganda PSA, actress Martha Young writes a controversial book, John Pate does a run of one liners, and 60s inpired singer-songwriter Josh Cuadra performs.

7/14/2017 - Desert Stars

Jul 20, 2017

Sketches, stories, and songs from Joshua Tree, CA. With singer-songwriter Mark Olson, and cryptozoologist Emil Konk. 

7/7/2017 - The Universe

Jul 7, 2017

A show about the nature of the universe, with comedian April Hava Shenkman, and folk-swing group Hobo Jazz.

6/30/2017 - Factions

Jun 30, 2017

An episode from Lake Arrowhead, CA with musical guest Matthew Szlachetka, and comedian Nikki Muller.

6/23/2017 - Oh Canada

Jun 23, 2017

An episode on The Great White North with singer Carolyn Mark, and cryptozoologist Emil Konk.