Seán was born in Claddagh, Galway but has spent most of his adult life in England. His interest in Folk Music developed in Germany in the early 60’s while he was learning to speak German. From here he moved to Switzerland were as well as acquiring an excellent command of French he appeared on local TV & Radio singing folk songs. With guitar in tow, Seán’s next stop was Spain where he taught both French and German acquiring in the process fluent Spanish to add to his multilingual repertoire. Eventually he settled in England and became a well-known and respected solo artiste. He has played almost every Folk Club in the Britain. By 1969, Seán had joined an England-based folk group called “The Gaels”. The Gaels consisted of three Irishmen and a Scotsman and have one album to their credit. Seán has released several solo albums, two of which were recorded in the 1970’s. He is immortalised in the Christy Moore song “Lisdoonvarna”. The line “Seán Cannon Doing Back Stage Cooking” is a direct reference to when Seán travelled to all the music festivals in the late 1970s with a converted caravan and sold curry.
Seán became a ‘Dubliner’ in 1982 having appeared with The Dubliners as a guest on a number of occasions at the invitation of Luke Kelly. He is known for singing songs in the Irish language “Peggy Lettermore”, “Fáinne Gael an Lae”, “Cill Chais” and humorous songs like “The Waterford Boys”, “The Pool Song” and “The Sick Note”.
Seán still manages to do some solo work in-between the touring and also plays with his sons, James and Robert. They call themselves “The Cannons” and perform traditional Irish folk music as well as songs by Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. Seán sings and plays Guitar & Mandola. He continues to add languages to his repertoire with Russian, Croatian and more recently he has been learning Latin (Via an iPhone app!).