Music & Nightlife

The Beatles set Jim Camacho on his musical path

STILL ‘GOOD’: Jim Camacho, whose song ‘I’m Not Average’ with local rockers The Goods served as a soundtrack for 1990s South Florida rock, has performed often since the band’s demise. Here, he is rocking the defunct Tobacco Road in Miami in 2001at his record release party.
STILL ‘GOOD’: Jim Camacho, whose song ‘I’m Not Average’ with local rockers The Goods served as a soundtrack for 1990s South Florida rock, has performed often since the band’s demise. Here, he is rocking the defunct Tobacco Road in Miami in 2001at his record release party. Miami Herald file

A local music critic once wrote, “The Goods were Miami’s Beatles — four distinct personalities each contributing his special skills and abundant charisma to create something that always went beyond the music.”

High praise, indeed. The piece, published in the Miami Herald’s former publication Street 14 years ago, was an obituary of sorts for the band singer-songwriter Jim Camacho wound up fronting, along with his brother John and friends.

The Goods’ independent albums, 5 Steps to Getting Signed and Mint (both from the first half of the 1990s), were some of the best, most creative and infectious pop/rock albums to come out of South Florida’s local rock scene. A major label effort in 1998 with celebrated producer Tom Dowd ultimately led to The Goods’ fracturing. But Camacho, who plays bass, guitar and keyboards, has been anything but idle.

Over the years he released solo albums, toured nationally and wrote music for the stage, including for Noel MacNeal’s The Mouse King and, with Carol Mandelstam, The Cavie Islanders & the Troll, at Pinecrest’s Mandelstam School where he’s music director.

On Saturday, The Jim Camacho Band performs at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center’s Neighborhood Nights at its intimate Cabaret space.

For South Miami’s Camacho, 45, the Fab Four opened his eyes to a career in music.

“For me, The Beatles were the springboard for my arts awakening. When my brother and I were little, our mom would sing to us on the swing in the backyard. She would sing us Beatles and Leonard Cohen songs, among others. Then, my brother and I would listen to the White Album, Sgt. Pepper and all the Beatles records, and figure out the harmonies. The Beatles were our super heroes. That set me on this path,” Camacho said.

“I’ve said it before: You don’t choose the music, it chooses you. In that moment on the swing, music felt like home, like family, and I’ve leaned on that family in the good times and the bad. I’m grateful that music has taken me on this journey. Music is what connects people — it’s a way of communicating that reaches across languages and cultures. Those waves of sound that found me carry the songs along and are probably reaching planets where aliens are dancing, or whatever they do, to She Loves You right now.”

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If you go

What: Jim Camacho and his band perform as part of Neighborhood Nights Cabaret

Where: South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211th St., Cutler Bay

When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $25 advance, $30 day of show

Information: 786-573-5300 or www.smdcac.org

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