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Young Buffalo @6 p.m. March 9, Hang Fire

One of the highlights of the first Savannah Stopover, in 2011, Young Buffalo returns this year with an incredibly strong EP jammed with sharp, pop–tinged rock 'n' roll — this is a band that piledrives and plants hooks virtually simultaneously.

On that first visit, there were three young Buffs. This time around, it's just Jim Barrett and Ben Yarbrough, switching off on guitars and basses, plus a touring drummer and keyboard guy.

Longtime buds from Oxford, Miss., Barrett and Yarbrough have been singing and playing together since their middle school days.

Barrett admits that straddling the fence between hard rock and harmony comes naturally to him. "My mom's records included a lot of Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel and musicals," he tells us. "So from an early age I was drawn more to stuff that's easy on the ears. By high school I started listening to Led Zeppelin and a bunch of harder shit. Once me and Ben started playing, we were really big into Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth.

"So it's a little bit of both of those worlds — really easy on ya, and catchy, and the opposite side, getting a little noisy once in a while."

We invite you to listen to "Upstairs," from the band's self–titled EP. Don't take our word for it. This is a creative duo.

Young Buffalo's live show tends to me a bit more ... well, ragged than the records.

"Depending on the kind of show, and the sound I guess, sometimes it's like straining to get over the ruckus," Barrett laughs. "Sometimes it works; sometimes Ben and I mesh well. And sometimes you can't hear anything, and you ask somebody after the show and they say 'Well, you were a little shaky on a couple of those.'"

And that's a good thing, spontaneity and all. A cornerstone of live rock 'n' roll performance. Online: