Since parting ways from the Iguanas, saxophonist Derek Huston has kept busy as a free agent. “I’ve really enjoyed the different experiences I’ve had as a freelancer,” Huston says. “It’s definitely a job in and of itself trying to keep your schedule full and juggle all different opportunities that come along. It’s kind of feast or famine, and I prefer a feast!”
Huston has toured with R&B singer James Hunter, and he tours with kids’ rock band Imagination Movers a couple times a year and joined them this summer to film their Disney Channel concert special at the UNO Lakefront Arena.
“They’re really, really fun, and they’ve got such great energy,” Huston says. “I have kids, but I like watching their show myself. It’s like watching The Monkees. I appreciate their humor.”
This month, Huston will play a slightly more adult gig as a member of the band when Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello play each other’s songs October 1 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Huston became connected with the show through former Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen guitarist Bill Kirchen and pianist Austin De Lone, both of whom will be part of the show.
“Austin de Lone called me up in mid- August and said, ‘We’re putting a show together, it’s one night only with Nick Lowe doing Elvis Costello songs and Elvis Costello doing Nick Lowe songs,’” Huston says. “He asked if I could recommend anyone who can play the tenor or the baritone sax. Of course, I raised my hand quickly, but I knew it was a rhetorical question because we had played music together before.”
“Costello sings Lowe/Nick Sings Elvis” will showcase a rare collaboration between the two performers at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on October 1. The performance will be on the evening of the first night of San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and will also feature New Orleanian Bob Andrews, who played keyboards in British pub rock band Brinsley Schwarz with Lowe.
Huston calls himself a “huge Nick Lowe fan. “I really appreciate his sense of humor and his world view on relationships.
“I know that Nick Lowe doesn’t tour very often anymore, and I think he’s more often going out as solo. I’m just thrilled my number came up, and I get to play with these guys.”