Loveland, Ohio's Colemine Records has become one of the leading U.S. labels for vintage-styled Soul and Funk music. Today (March 20), Colemine released its latest single, a digital offering from a forthcoming vinyl 45 release.
Premiering yesterday via Flood, the newest Colemine track is a cover of The Honey Drippers' 1973 Funk jam "Impeach the President," done magnificently by California's Sure Fire Soul Ensemble with guest vocalist Kelly Finnigan.
The tight, thick beat and groove of the original is very likely familiar even if you've never heard it — it has been sampled hundreds of times and is a cornerstone beat of Hip Hop, backing up tracks by everyone from Eric B & Rakim, N.W.A. and Big Daddy Kane to Digable Planets, 50 Cent, Flo-Rida and J. Cole (and non-Hip Hop records by Prince, Stevie Wonder, Alanis Morrissette and many others).
But it's not only the rhythm that will ring familiar to listeners of Finnigan and Sure Fire Soul Ensemble's 2019 version of "Impeach the President." Obviously, the message is one weighing heavy in the atmosphere of sketchy politics, partisan rage and societal division created by the current occupant of the Oval Office. SFSE and Finnigan do a great job of rekindling the same fired-up spirit with which the original was created. The Honey Drippers wrote the lyrics of the 1973 song to protest President Richard Nixon, who would be forced out of office in disgrace the year after "Impeach the President" was released in the fallout of the Watergate scandal.
The core lyrics on the Funk classic didn't even have to be changed to fit 2019's tense political climate.
Besides the "Impeach the President" refrain, there's also:
Some people say that he's guilty (that he's guilty)
Some people say I don't know (I don't know)
Some people say, give him a chance (give him a chance)
Aw, some people say, wait till he’s convicted (till he’s convicted)
Behind the walls, of the White House
There's a lot of things, that we don't know about
Finnigan — whose debut solo album is due on Colemine next month — told Flood: “The timing of our cover of The Honey Drippers classic is pretty perfect in my opinion. Just as the timing of the original in 1973 was essential and necessary. What’s been going for the last two-plus years in this country is disturbing in a lot of ways and I’m proud to be a part of this record and the message in the music.”