He has been called the earl of romantic despair, and the runt of the litter but he laughs off any of those dubious titles. One-Legged Heart grew up in the long shadows of some great artists performing in the late 1960's. Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Joni Mitchell, Dylan, Hendrix, Lennon, Cohen, Paul Simon, David Crosby, Johnny Cash and Joan Baez each dragged and molded the "mystic clay" of the Philadelphia boy child, irrevocably making him what he has become today. Long before Taylor Swift was born, One-Legged Heart danced against the warm midnight breeze of the south jersey summer town, seeking meaning in the night sky as ocean waves rushed round his waist. Brother of Orpheus, descendant of the Sea People, he plucked on his old guitar, imploring the gods to let him speak the tales he seemed to know so well.
One-Legged Heart aka joe Linus, (his patrimonial lineage descends from the Aegean God of melodies and rhythms) self-published his first book of poems at the tender age of eight, and spent most of his formative years drawing and painting at the knee of his mum, a stern Welsh-irish Catholic with Queenstowne roots, and a wandering French-jewish grandfather he rarely met.
But for his father's intervention, young joe would have simply become a painter. Instead he found himself enrolled at an all boys preparatory school void of any art or music programs. He soon became a truant and runaway, and took up interest in the R&B songs he'd heard on the streets through transistor radios, and again on TV through the Rolling Stones and other acts. Still he managed to complete his requirements, enrolling at New York University where he first met legendary artist Paul Simon. Simon mentored the boy, showing him the ropes at Columbia CBS studios. But the boy was restless and untamed and quickly moved on to the warmer southern climate, becoming an artist-in-residence in Durham North Carolina, where he cultivated his influences of Picasso, Klee, Noland, Pollock, Rothko and locals like Broderson and Miller.
Musician/ philosopher/ poet/ painter, the prophetic visions of his work proved perennially redemptive to audiences spanning generations, including today's millennials and gen x' ers. Both his passion and persona appeal to the inner spirit of his followers. As One-Legged Heart he continues to draw on his many previously unpublished poems, letters, paintings and photos searching for enigma hiding deeply in our psyches. One-Legged Heart relentlessly examines the central issues in human experience, reporting with a poet/painter's clear-eyed wit and wisdom.
A reflection of the zeitgeist of the 21st century, his poetry and prose are informed by an intensive musicality and intestinal fortitude. He continues to refine and deepen his art constantly exploring new territory. He exhibits control reminiscent of Samuel Beckett's writing, with nothing flaunted, no sentimentality, every word heralding a personal Armageddon. The gritty tenor voice is well-grounded in Duende, accepting the damage, understanding that it's just not redundant or disposable. With songs that touch our common humanity and transcend boundaries and cultures,with dark humor, existential gloom, old world romantic notions, wise, droll, and cool. One senses his edge of despair is real-- he does not lament casually-- fusing the erotic with the spiritual. The deeper he digs the greater the prize. Even if no one else knows who he is-- he will know--- because he is not here to fool the audience or himself. Yet still one hears a quirky pre-dawn shiver of guarded optimism that informs his manner.
One-Legged Heart is not like anything you've ever heard or seen before! With his silver threads of sorrow and joy unraveling, his images are his own -- his words grow round the heart like an ancient vine. He weaves his songs as a fully-realized artist, reporting the story like a newspaper man, presenting his findings to his audience of emotional colleagues.He doesn't work the crowd for gasps and sighs. He knows the truth of nature as certain as the sun and moon across the sky and he'll let you be the judge for yourself. Yes, One-Legged heart is a bit of the boogie woogie, the pop crooner, the guy you came to hear-- the one who will let you float carelessly downstream. His stage is just that state of mind. His paintings reveal his enduring passion and commitment to go further.