2016 was quite an eventful year! Among the highlights: I had a chance to open for one of my heroes, work with a couple of great non-profit groups, collaborate with a good friend, pay tribute to a some legends, write singles for talented artists, release singles and videos of my own, play new places, reprise my holiday musical, and more. Here’s a look back at the year that was:
I began the year trying something new with “Big Little World”, one of the tracks from my Everywhere EP. I re-recorded it in acoustic format and made a new video with the help of my good friend Juan Davila from 2Way Creative for the NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest. The clip featured a dancing bear and zebra, a chihuahua, a Jedi Knight and Stormtrooper, and was lots of fun to make.
Next, the legendary Denny Laine (Moody Blues / Wings) played Fort Lauderdale March 10th and the good people at the Culture Room tapped yours truly to open the show for him. Here is a clip of the band doing Macca's "Too Many People" from that night. The show was also a celebration of a new single and video for “Make It to the Morning Light”, which was also made in conjunction with Davila. The track features background vocals by my brother John Camacho and drums and percussion by Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident / EOTO). The video stars Michelle Grand from Ex-Norwegian and my good friend Alex Porro from Mongo.
Later that month, I traveled to the U.K. and had a chance to appear on the Tony Moore Musical Emporium show, which webcast live on SOHO Radio London March 19 - click here to listen. A couple of days later, I played at the Bedford Live during a songwriter's night - here's the entire set archived online.
The following month, I helped organize a fundraiser at the Luna Star Café for the Paws 4 You (pet rescue) and Switchboard Miami (suicide prevention) organizations. Proceeds from the night, as well as those from the pay-what-you-like sale of the single on Bandcamp were donated to both. If you haven’t yet, I strongly encourage you to learn more and support both causes. Also in April, I issued the Everywhere – Deluxe Edition featuring live versions of tracks from the original release, as well as other rarities and B-sides.
Next, I collaborated with my good friend and the super-talented singer / songwriter Rob Elba (Holy Terrors / Shark Valley Sisters). Rob had the idea that we each record a song written by the other, and I'm really proud of the the result: the split virtual 7” single “Ugly” / “Messenger”. Tracked at Dan Hosker Studio by the great Rat Bastard, the videos were shot in-studio and at Churchill’s Pub (the place where our former bands shared the bill often), featuring a cameo appearance by none other than former owner Dave Daniels.
We celebrated the release of the split single at Gramps on May 20. I hadn’t played the Wynwood establishment before then, and the night proved to be a memorable one that shared in the spirit of the Camacho / Elba partnership. My band played a couple of Holy Terrors songs with Rob on lead vocals, and I had the pleasure of joining his for a couple of numbers by The Goods. Click here to listen to an interview on the Shake 108 "Local Love" show with Aimee Beah Moore about the project.
In June, I released the video for “Big Little World”, which was taken from the original audio track and also edited by Davila. In keeping with the “live” theme of the re-issue, the video consists of footage pieced together from various performances spanning 2009-2016 in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York, and London, and feature past and current members of the Jim Camacho Band plus a few special guests.
August saw me rejoin the Mad Cat Live! band, this time for a staging of Neil Young’s 1974 On the Beach. The show ran Friday the 12th through Sunday the 14th at the Miami Theater Center. The group also featured Darren Bruck, Matt Corey, Erik Fabregat, David Nail, and Nabedi Osorio, as well as direction by Paul Tei.
The following week, the band and I were back at the Luna Star Café to celebrate the release of “How Do You Like Me Now”, also from the Everywhere – Deluxe Edition. The night also included performances by Lori Garrote, Roger and Michelle from Ex-Norwegian, and Chris and Darrell from the Super Fuzz. The new video was filmed and directed by Davila, and features dancing by Marion-Skye Brooke Logan and Eric Michael Gil, as well as choreography by Dance Empire / Alvin Ailey product and Miami native Jamar Roberts, he who was recently nominated for a Bessie Award.
Also in August, I wrote and produced the song "Party Down the Road" for the teen actor Chloe Lang (LazyTown) - click here to listen to it on my Soundcloud page (please follow the page).
The month of September was a busy one, especially in regards to live performing. My good friend from Ireland Dave O’Grady (Seafoam Green) wanted to tour South Florida, so I decided to help him organize a run through Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
First up was our debut at Ball & Chain in Little Havana, then an appearance / performance on the Shake 108 Local Love Show webcast live from the Shack North Studios in Hialeah.
Next, Dave and I played an in-store at RadioActive Records in Fort Lauderdale, followed by a songwriter night I hosted at Alligator Alley in Oakland Park. Finally, O’Grady and I appeared on Michael Stock’s Folk & Acoustic Music (click the link to watch Dave perform a song) program on WLRN.
A song called "Love's Out the Window" which I co-wrote with Tony Moore and the performer and recording artist Ilona, was released in September. Click here to watch the official video for it.
Mouse King, the family-friendly holiday favorite written by Sesame Street veteran Noel MacNeal and yours truly, revisits the story of The Nutcracker, but with a twist – it tells the holiday classic from the perspective of the mice. This year, we once again enjoyed a run of sell-out performances at the Mandelstam Theater in South Miami December 8 to 11.
Finally, during the very little downtime I had during the production of Mouse King, I recorded a cover of the Tom Waits / Kathleen Waits-Brennan classic “Take It With Me When I Go” backstage at the Mandelstam Theater. I hope you enjoy it!
I’m looking forward to a bigger and better 2017, including more new music as a solo artist and in tandem with my brother John, as well as the premiere of a new songwriting web series on my You Tube channel – please remember to subscribe!
God bless and all good things in 2017!