Byron Lee & the Dragonaires – Shaft


Byron Lee & the Dragonaires in the studio


Listen – Byron Lee & the Dragonaires – Shaft – MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope that everyone has had an excellent week and is ready to let off some steam over the weekend.
I’d like to end the week, not with a bang (as I often do) but with something a little low key and mellow, courtesy of one of the legends of Jamaican music, Mr Byron Lee.
Lee formed the Dragonaires in the mid-50s, and recorded countless albums with the group encompassing a wide variety of island styles including mento, soca, calypso, ska and of course reggae.
Lee was – in addition to his duties as bandleader – also a producer, operationg Dynamic Studios in Jamaica and recording groups like the Maytals and the Slickers.
Oddly enough, though I’ve been able to track down more than a few Byron Lee and the Dragonaires albums in my travels, most of what I found were middle of the road collections seemingly aimed (like almost every steel drum record to come out of the Caribbean) at the tourist crowd.
The tune I bring you today (which also yielded the very tasty James Brown cover included in Funky16Corners Radio v.62) comes from an album that I bought from a trusted source, knowing that it did in fact contain some heat.
The tune I bring you today sees Mr Lee covering one of the best known tracks from the catalog of a certain Mr Hayes (Isaac, to be exact). Byron and the band take the track at a relaxed pace –which I dig – working that familiar riff over a reggae groove.
I thought it would be a nice way to ease into the weekend.
Have a good one, and I’ll be back on Monday with some soulful goodness.



PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for a new edition of the Iron Leg Digital Trip Podcast

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has finally been updated.

4 Responses to “Byron Lee & the Dragonaires – Shaft”

  1. steveb Says:

    Perfect to ease into the weekend indeed. Thank you. I’m sure you have loads of good reggae records, including lots of soul/funk covers. Me, not so many, but I do have this compilation and it has a great version of the Shaft theme on it too.

  2. ROO Says:

    LOVE their version of Express Yourself!

    And Shaft is soon to be a new favourite of the selector.


  3. Eurasian Sensation Says:

    There is another Jamaican version of “Shaft”, which I think is slightly cooler, by Chosen Few. It’s on Madlib’s “Blunted in the Bomb Shelter” mix cd. Byron Lee’s take is nice though.

  4. Alejandro Says:

    Ahhhh…this is so smooth….

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