Filed Under (Acoustic Covers) by Jason on December-17-2010

For a band with just two members, The Black Keys sure have a big sound. Hailing from Akron, Ohio, the duo is quite prolific – in just 9 years on the circuit, they’ve released 6 critically (and popularly) acclaimed albums. Often a small group is able to streamline the creative process in such a way as would allow them to make music at that kind of clip, and that might well be the case here.

Their most recent album, Brothers (2010), debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200, and its first single, Tighten Up, reached #1 on the Alternative Songs and Rock Songs charts before receiving Grammy nominations for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song. It’s a beautifully simple tune with an almost jarringly straightforward lyrical introduction – “I wanted love/I needed love/Most of all.” The song was written in collaboration with the one and only Danger Mouse (featured previously on The Acoustic Version with Broken Bells), which makes perfect sense. His influence is apparent in both the composition and the production.

Here’s one Kendra Villiger providing us with a much needed acoustic version of Tighten Up. One thing we try to do here at The Acoustic Version is to find talent in the obscure corners of YouTube and show it to the world. Though Kendra is kind of sloppy with the tempo during the first verse or two, she eventually finds a groove and lets her voice seize the moment. And what a voice it is – strong, accurate, and soulful.

It’s also worth mentioning that she’s playing an Ovation – recognizable from a mile away – which definitely contributes to her sound. Something about the deep, rounded body made of composite material (carbon-graphite, I think) increases the volume and amplifies the low end without sacrificing anything in the way of tone. I’d encourage any acoustic player looking for a sound augmentation to check out one of these babies.

For some reason, Kendra has uploaded very few videos, which is a real shame. There are a lot of songs out there that need to be performed acoustic by someone like her. I’m tempted to nominate some tunes for her to cover, but I imagine she has ideas of her own. Perhaps Kendra just needs a little encouragement to make the effort to post some more acoustic performances. If you dig her style, sound off in the comments section and hopefully we’ll hear more soon!

Listen to the studio version here:
The Black Keys – Tighten Up by HighestCulture

Reading: Acoustic Version of The Black Keys’ Tighten UpTweet This: Send Page to Twitter

Click Here For Online Acoustic Guitar Lessons In High Definition Video!

Kendra Villiger on December 20th, 2010 at 2:05 am #

Hey guys it’s kendra!
I’d LOVE to make more covers but i’ve been super busy with my two bands. One of them (IVShadow) will be playing that the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim california. I’m more of an electric lead guitar player… I’ll working on making more covers! =]

Butt Flap Comics on December 20th, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

This is great. Kendra’s voice is indeed heartfelt and soulful and I like the slightly rough style and those few missed cues–makes it seem all the more accessible. And go Ovation acoustics!

Joe on December 21st, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

Thanks for popping in, Kendra! Good luck at NAMM. I see you’re playing the same day as Andy McKee – cool stuff.

Post a comment