Inis Oírr, County Galway
Sam Cahoon was born north of San Francisco in the small town of Petaluma, California. He claims to have been a singer since before he could remember, but did not start playing music until he was a teenager. "My mother always encouraged me to play an instrument as I child, but I never had any interest. One day I picked up a tin whistle and the music came out of me. After that I started playing any instrument I could find!” Sam was influenced by a wide variety of genres, everything from Irish and Folk ballads to Soul and Punk rock. “I started singing traditional ballads when I was a kid. I loved how they told a story. My biggest singing influences were Luke Kelly and Liam Clancy." Sam quickly became proficient at playing the old favorites, and then moved on to digging up and arranging lesser known folk songs. "I have always loved finding a beautiful, forgotten folk song and putting new life into it. I greatly respect people like Woody Guthrie, John and Alan Lomax, and Ewan MacColl for collecting songs and keeping them alive." It was also at this time that he started writing his own songs, with topics ranging from love and war to drinking and dancing. "Song writing came naturally to me. I always have had a vivid imagination. I often write in the first person, partly inspired by Stanislavski and his magic "if".” Sam Cahoon now resides in the West of Ireland.