top of page

The music of the Bluetone Assembly

Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out!

A narrative concert in two acts

Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out explores the songs and stories of some of the all-time great soul, blues, and jazz female singers as they fight for respect and recognition in a male-dominated world.


2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the tragic death of Amy Winehouse. But the year also marks 60 years from the release of timeless musical classics including Etta James’ Somethings Got a Hold on Me and 70 years from Ruth Brown's Teardrops from my eyes

Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out is a two-hour journey into a world of soul and blues roots, looking at the anxieties, the exploitation, the abuse behind those great female voices and their songs. 

Including soul, blues and jazz hits from Ruth Brown, Etta James, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield and Amy Winehouse, this is a fascinating, unique and unforgettable musical journey that mixes a powerful musical performance with a compelling narration of the stories behind the songs. 


Then she had her first hit and Leonard Chess himself handed her an envelope that said 'royalties'. She opened it up and there was no cheque in there, just a little piece of paper saying, 'You're $14,000 in the red.'


Asked what she wanted to drink, she requested a glass of milk. That did not last long though. Her trademark request soon became: 

“I want some champagne … and some cocaine … and some sausages!”

She was a big fan of black music, Motown in particular. She listened to Ruth Brown, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, but her big love was Martha and the Vandellas.

bottom of page