“Swim Through the Darkness: My Search for Craig Smith and the Mystery of Maitreya Kali” by Mike Stax

I first heard about Craig Smith ten years ago when reading Richie Unterberger’s folk music book “8 Miles High” and was intrigued enough to search out his music (released under the name Satya Sai Matreya Kali), which I wound up really enjoying.  Much of his life was shrouded in mystery though; biographical information was scant.  How did this handsome, smart, and talented young man with so much promise (he got his start writing songs for Andy Williams, Glen Campbell, and The Monkees) wind up homeless and dying on the streets of California, forgotten by all but a handful of diehard fans? This recent book, a labor of love by the author, attempts to fill in all the gaps in this tragic story.  There are a few too many unnecessary tangents about peripheral characters from Craig’s life, but otherwise I really enjoyed this read.

Evaluation: 4 out of 5

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