From Puppets to Children's Musicals, Jim Camacho Isn't Slowing Down

From the moment Jim Camacho and his brother John came onto the scene with the band the Goods in the late ’80s and early ’90s, he's been a steady presence in South Florida music. Aside from releasing a series of nearly flawless solo albums, he's continued to spread his wings, a homegrown one-man artistic industry that's spawned musicals, children's theater productions, and various side projects that have found him collaborating with the area's finest.

On the eve of his gig at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center — his first local performance in quite some time — New Times sat down with the tireless Camacho to catch up on his seemingly nonstop array of new projects.

New Times: What can the audience expect at the upcoming show?
Jim Camacho: I've been doing a lot of writing and recording over the last few months, so this will be my first show in a very long time, and I'm excited to play there. I was part of their grand opening in October 2011. I'll perform in their intimate Black Box Theater and celebrate the release of my new single and video, "Please Come Home." It's kind of a homecoming for me. I’ll be playing songs from my days with The Goods up to new songs that haven't been released. Other surprises and special guests planned.

What are you working on these days?
I haven't been putting out full-length albums these days, but I am putting out singles with videos every couple of months. I've also been writing musicals and writing for other artists from the U.S. and from across the pond. I just finished a new children's musical called Digging for Bones, about a group of time-traveling paleontologists and a friendly T. rex dinosaur skeleton. I'm also working on music for a new series by puppeteer Noel MacNeal called The Show Me Show, as well as working on a couple of other musicals for 2016. And with all the free time left over, I've been struggling to finish mixing the live recording of my musical Fools' Paradise, which was performed in February at Churchill's Pub. I hope to be able to share some of that live footage with my YouTube subscribers soon.

What are your thoughts about the state of the music scene in South Florida?
It sucks about the recent closings of Tobacco Road and the Stage Miami. But when you are a South Florida musician, you discover pretty quickly that Miami is a tourist town. Venues come and go. It's always been hard for live bands in South Florida. When the Goods first started, we used to pass out "Support Local Music" flyers as a call to action. Having a musically apathetic town makes South Florida bands stronger because you have to fight for your audience. The ones who last are the fighters. Miami will never be like New York City, but all and all, I think the scene is heading in the right direction. Churchill's is still going strong, the noise scene is going strong, Sweat Records is going strong. There are reasons to be optimistic.

Jim Camacho, at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 11, at South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211st St., Miami; 786­-573-­5316; Tickets cost $25 in advance, $35 the day of show via
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Lee Zimmerman