Odka is a New York City band formed in 2012 by singer/songwriter Dennie Hausen, guitarist/inventor Jon Blackstone Steele and composer/percussionist Michael Campbell.
Dennie has been a bassist throughout most of her musical career (The Kidneys, Cherry Love Affair, Bleeding Hearts Choir and numerous bands in her native Birmingham, Alabama), but when she began exploring the guitar as a songwriting tool in 2009, it seemed to unleash a new and prolific creative force. Having no history of playing folk guitar, Dennie sketches the songs with minimalist 2- and 3-string voicings that leave room for Jon to interpret the harmonic structure. With the two of them sharing an appetite for angular chord tensions and odd meters, the result is something they half-jokingly categorize as
Jon Blackstone Steele has himself been a frontman/songwriter (Furniture, Paper Dolls), but is better-known recently as an inventor of musical equipment. Jon developed an unusual instrument to maintain a spare sound while facilitating the collaboration with Dennie. His "dual-range guitar" has two bass strings and four guitar strings on the same neck. It also has string bending mechanisms that allow Jon to replicate some of the pedal steel parts that he's played on Dennie's past recordings.
Dennie and Jon went looking for a drummer when they wanted to start playing shows, but in Mike Campbell they found much more. In addition to playing with Patti Smith and Black Forest, Mike is a professional composer who does a lot of film and commercial scoring, and is currently working on a solo recording project that's an amalgam of modern classical, operatic rock and cinematic narrative.