However, I don’t really like the blues all that much, so this Concert was simply fine to me. Cray’s band includes bassist Richard Cousins, keyboardist Jim Pugh and drummer Tony Braunagel, “who performs here by tapping a wooden box” (it’s one of those cool box drums).
They play three songs, “Sadder Days,” a sad slow blues with some beautiful guitar soloing. “(Won’t Be) Coming Home” is a faster, darker song about her leaving him.
“I’m Done Cryin'” is nearly ten minutes long and it is a pretty classic blues song with lengthy solos and much bemoaning that he is still a man. It’s got some good soling and, I imagine if you like the blues, this is a killer track.
[READ: July 20, 2016] “Naima”
I really didn’t enjoy this short story very much. It took a really long time before it did anything. I realize part of that is the nature of the story–building up characters and setting up the basis for the relationship–but it felt like half the story was just extraneous.
The crux of the story is that a boy’s mother has died. (For the first half of the story I was sure the main character was a girl, so I was quite shocked to find out otherwise). The boy was very close with his mother. His father was a joyful person while she was alive but in the short period since her death, the father has become very distant.
The only person the boy is close to is Naima, the maid.
The family lives in Egypt, and I am certain that my lack of understanding of Egyptian culture leads me to like this story less than I might.
The boy’s father had a life back in Egypt. Indeed when fat books about the Suez Canal are published, the father’s name is inevitably in the index. He had been a close advisor to the king who was an aristocrat forced into exile by the revolution.
Much of the middle of the story involved the mother’s illness, death and funeral. After the funeral his family offers to take the boy back with them but he says he couldn’t do that to Naima. Then we learn a little about Naima’s family and how she was acquired.
And that’s kind of it. If I knew more about Egyptian politics and history it may have been more impactful, but for me it was a long story about a parent dying and how a boy (who I thought was a girl) dealt with it.