In the Spotlight: Jake and Dalton’s Variety Show


CASEY, Ill. (WTHI) – “We start off and he does Buddy Holly and Elvis and then we go into Blues Brothers,” explained Dalton Janssen. “We do covers of that and then he sings some original country songs that he has written.“

Jake and Dalton’s Variety Show. Two teenagers from Casey, Illinois who are not your average musicians.

“We go and we’re dressed as just normal teenagers. We walk in and set-up. All of a sudden he comes in dressed up as 70’s Elvis in a full jumpsuit and then he gets done with his Elvis and we go into blues…” Dalton continued.

That’s right, you heard him correctly: A performance with costumes. A full show with these two includes costume changes and comedy.

But Jake and Dalton were collaborating together long before they took the stage with their variety show.

“Talked to him about music and going to Branson and we finally just went together and we just loved everything we saw and we thought ‘hey, let’s do this’ you know… so, we got into doing that and it’s just caught on ever since..,” Jake Houlton described.

For both, their upbringing seemed to shape their musical taste.

“I’ve lived with my grandparents about my whole life and what they listened to, I listened to,” Jake said.

But what about Dalton’s childhood?

“So I grew up in my grandparent’s house…”

Sound familiar?

“…and they would always listen to older gospel songs, Elvis especially…,” Dalton continued. “And.. I fell in love with it right away.”

A not so common sound for teens in a small Illinois town.

“Well a lot of people… We’ve been made fun of a lot,” Jake said. “Just from what we listen to and stuff..”

But that won’t stop them from playing the music they love. And after years of covering the music of other artists, they are now setting their sights on their own original music.

“It’s different because it’s not like performing other people’s music… It’s this is my song and I get to do it however I want to do it,” said Jake.

Whether it’s performing their own music or covering some of the greats, these two don’t plan to stop any time soon.

“We’re hoping to, like after we graduate we’re going to go to college of course, and then after college we’re hoping to get in with the shows in Branson and hopefully one day having our own show.”

Ending up right where it all began.

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