Kristie Stremel

All I Really Want

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No surprises here. Look at the cover photo of a tattooed and spunkily pretty young woman in a tank top and cowboy hat holding a Telecaster and listeners know just what to expect: lots of rootsy guitar rock with faint country undertones, Hammond organ parts on most every track, and lots of songs that celebrate tormented love and make lyrical interpretations nicely on her solo debut. Having previously done time in Kansas bands Frogpond and Exit 159, Stremel works primarily with guitarist Chris Meck, whose unadorned, meat-and-potatoes style complements her throaty voice beautifully. Her songs are melodic without being immediately hooky; repeated listenings bring out the charms of tracks like "Good to You" and "Twist," while the sweetly yearning "Single Day" hits home a bit more quickly. Fans of roots rock will find a lot to love here and should take the opportunity to seek out her earlier work as well.

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