Seamie O’Dowd was brought up by parents steeped in the musical traditions of South County Sligo, Ireland. His mother, Shiela, was a highly respected musician and teacher whose father and brothers all played fiddle, while his father, Joe, was renowned as a fiddle player among musicians and music lovers worldwide.
Seamie himself began playing fiddle at about eight years of age. Making his first radio broadcast when he was ten years old, he established himself in competition and elsewhere as one of the finest fiddlers of his age in the west of Ireland. He began to cut his teeth in the local session scene alongside his parents and by the age of eighteen he was playing guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, banjo, bodhran and fiddle, as well as starting to gain a reputation as a singer.