Note: All this month Second Stage is featuring artists from the RPM Challenge, 'The Wire' magazine's annual open invitation for musicians to produce an entire album in just one month. All songs featured are from CDs written and recorded in Feb.
For the past ten years, Jamie Schaaf has had an ongoing battle with his music. A multi-instrumentalist from Portsmouth, NH, Schaaf has been writing songs off and on, mostly as a hobby, but he's never been comfortable with his work. For the RPM Challenge he decided to let go of any hangups and produce an entire album in just one month. Schaaf came up with a collection of ten original tracks he's calling Postcards From the Back of the Bar. It features the folky song "Butterfly."
"The story of 'Butterfly' is quite simple," says Schaaf. "It's about a man who finds the woman of his dreams, but knows that a relationship with her will never be realized. He's very pained by the thought of being alone and without her. But he's kept going by the the hope that one day he will (simply be recognized) by her. This hope lifts him up and, like a butterfly, allows him to fly."
Schaaf recorded his album in four, three-hour sessions in his brother, Dylan's home studio. Jamie Schaaf played guitars and harmonica while his brother played keys and helped with the mixing.
"I was immediately taken by the whole process of recording," says Schaff. "And (I) was amazed on what can actually be done in the studio. The product of our work was my first organic collection of songs."