Match Stremel with Lou Whitney, the Gandalf the Grey of roots music; cut her crackerjack band loose in the Studio in Springfield, Mo.; turn up the amps and roll the tape -- what you get is All I Really Want. Well-stomped tremolo and distortion pedals, lightly worn harmonies from longtime collaborator Chris Meck, jangly hooks and a kind of retro '70s cool (anthemic opener "Shaky Hands" recalls nothing so much as Joe Walsh's "In the City") make for solid, girl-meets-girl rock & roll, though Stremel occasionally gives in to a bit of country-folk melody-making. The closer, "Bright Red Shirt," with its gorgeous Hammond lines and lesbian dive-bar lyricism, begins, "The thing about the rent is, I spent it on cigarettes and cheap wine," though the singer saved enough nickels for jukebox full of blue-eyed soul and stoner guitar rock. Fans of smart guitar rock would be remiss in not attending Stremel's first St. Louis gig in years.
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