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SXSW 2013’s Sharpest Axes: Austin’s Coolest Guitar Looks

Nathan Willett Mayer Hawthorne Lilly Hiatt
Michael Buckner / John Sciulli / Michael Buckner, Getty Images

More than mere instrument, the guitar is the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll accessory. There are few things more stylin’ than a guy or gal rocking out with ax in hand, and while lead singers can be plenty sexy, it’s the four- and six-string slingers — they with their scorching licks and low-end thumping– that keep the music flowing, and that look the coolest onstage.

Because we’re suckers for pics of pretty young rockers wielding their git-boxes, we scoured the ‘Net in search of the most stylish ax men and women at SXSW 2013. What follows are 10 of our favorites — a list we’re dubbing Sharpest Axes: Austin’s Coolest Guitar Looks.

Cold War Kids
Michael Buckner, Getty Images

Brandishing his weathered white Fender Stratocaster, Cold War Kids frontman Nathan Willett locks into a tight groove with low-ender Matt Maust during their Filter Magazine Showcase gig.


Lilly Hiatt
Michael Buckner, Getty Images

An unplugged Lilly Hiatt cradles her gorgeously engraved acoustic and gently rocks Austin as her backing band, Dropped Ponies, hides in the shadows.


Ruben Albarran
Mark Davis, Getty Images

Enrique Rangel plucks his hollow-body bass behind singer Rubén Albarrán as veteran Mexican rockers Cafe Tacuba show how it’s done South of the Border.


Shooter Jennings and Jamey Johnson

Outlaw country rocker Shooter Jennings — seen here with frequent collaborator Jamey Johnson — strums what looks like the scrawled-on wall of seedy truck-stop bathroom.


Jake Bugg

Up-and-coming British indie folkie Jake Bugg takes his “East Midlands Bob Dylan” schtick to the Lone Star state.


Eagles of Death Metal

A blurry Jesse Hughes gets a visit from Animal of the Muppets while rocking with Eagles of Death Metal.


Neon Lion
Michael Buckner, Getty Images

Xavier Hunter of Mexico City’s Neon Lion keeps his rock machine under wraps while wandering the streets of Austin.


Mayer Hawthorne
John Sciulli, Getty Images

Mayer Hawthorne keeps things chill on the Samsung Galaxy Sound Stage with his cool-as-all-hell Gibson Flying V.


Tegan Quinn
Roger Kisby, Getty Images

A shadowy Tegan Quinn lets her guitar grab the spotlight during one of Tegan and Sara’s performances this year.


Atlas Genius
Keith Jeffery, Getty Images

Atlas Genius frontman Keith Jeffery gets his hands on a blonde beauty — as in a vintage Fender Telecaster — during a typically awe-inspiring performance.


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