Many years ago, before you could preview any and all albums that came out, I took a chance and bought an album by a man I had never heard of. To this day I’m glad I took that chance, because it has been one of my favorite albums since. I have since bought 2 more from the artist, and I believe I am only missing 2 album he has released (feel free to tell me if I’m wrong). I have briefly mentioned him in my blog about “The Voyage of Maeldun,” but I feel he deserves more recognition.
The first album of Steve McDonald’s that I bought was “Sons of Somerled.” After years of listening to that album I finally obtained “Highland Farewell,” and “Legend.” (And I had to replace the first album after I wore it out). The only albums I don’t have are “Stone of Destiny” and “Winter in Scotland: A Highland Christmas.” While this album wasn’t my first exposure to Celtic music, it was by far the most memorable (Some people continue to think Celtic Thunder brought me to the genre, despite my many attempts at correcting them).
With “Sons of Somerled,” Steve McDonald (from New Zealand) traces his family name through a tumultuous history that began with Somerled and his grandson, Donald, in 12th Century Scotland. Donald’s family was ‘Clan Donald’ (Children of Donald). Clan Donald descendents were given the name MacDonald (Sons of Donald). In the 14th century Clan Donald were ‘Lords of the Isle.’ The entire series of albums shows Steve’s pride in his family name and the path they chose that led them to New Zealand.
Through an age of fighting men
When sword was mightier than pen
There lived a clansman bold and true
The Very one our name came through
lyrics from Sons of Somerled
Steve McDonald uses moving songs that show a warrior’s lifestyle and their dedication to land and family. Most of these touching songs he himself composed, but those he didn’t write are equally beautiful.I hope everyone takes a moment to enjoy this beautiful album.