The last time the Miami rockers of Shufly got some extended New Times love was in 2001, when it was duly noted that a bunch of teenage girls found them hot. That's not a hard thing to believe when you've got singer Scott Smith's soap opera waif-stud looks. Then there's Mario Palacios's Latin percussion bongo-ing away underneath, an element that instantly sets the band apart from every Creed wannabe making the rounds. Their heavy but accessible sound and big-league tightness won them opening slots for Lenny Kravitz, Foreigner, Dave Matthews Band, and Smashmouth, to name just a few.

Then came 2002, when Smith left to pursue other artistic avenues, in spite of the group being named South Florida's Best Local Pop Band by New Times. Guitarist Mike Sharp remained to move the Shufly ball forward, and found solo glory along the way. In 2004, he performed at the MTV Latin Video Music Awards and played the National Anthem for the Heat in an NBA playoff game. He then went on to win the now-defunct 94.9 Zeta's American Rock Idol contest, which resulted in a single, "I Am," produced by Billboard darling (and recent Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee) Desmond Child.

Smith, whose voice is equal parts Scott Stapp and Phil Collins, recently rejoined the band, and an EP, titled Confessions of a Fly, is on the not-distant horizon. They're looking forward to connecting with fans old and new.


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