Okay, so the guy headlined New Times Vibe 2001, our multifaceted music blowout that nobody attended. But that doesn't mean we were deaf to other rock singers in town. Nil Lara just happened to be the frontman who didn't make our ears bleed. Lara's soulful voice and pleasant inflections are more Peter Gabriel than Beny Moré. Still the Cuban-American songwriter reaches into his guajiro roots to create a unique repertoire of meaningful and engaging tunes. Sporting his trademark flannels and bare feet, shiny-domed Lara cuts a playful and pensive presence while strumming his cuatro onstage. He returned to South Florida last year from a grueling 22-month tour that took him across the United States and to Japan and Europe. Since coming back he's been recuperating, writing new songs, and spending time in the studio. The legions of fans he began cultivating while a student at the University of Miami can bet they'll see more of Lara's high-spirited shows. And we can rest easy, knowing we won't have to deal with bloodstained earplugs.