New Zealander Stephen McDonald is considered to be a Celtic music performer but has crossed many boundary lines since he is played rock 'n' roll, New Age and soundtrack music. At the age of five he began piano lessons then later switch to drums and joined his first band, the Strangers as a 12-year-old. Later on he became a member of the Dizzy Limits and he spent some time in England. The influences of both England and New Zealand have been seen in his music and the band changed their name to Timber Jack and released a controversial Come to the Sabbat.
McDonald then left Timber Jack for Taylor and put aside percussion for keyboards. The band recorded a single self-titled album and then disintegrated. At this point McDonald joined Human Instinct. In 1980 he released the first of a series of solo records with The Riddle and the Rhyme. He then spent two and half years in Australia where he created a live act before moving back to New Zealand and collecting many awards for his music. After 1983, he also became heavily involved in the New Zealand TV and motion picture industry and he provided numerous soundtracks for many productions.
In 1989 he made his first appearance in the United States market with the spacey Spinfield. This was a collection of synthesizer driven cuts released by Hearts of Space. The album was a moderate success and then in 1996 he released the Sons of Somerled, which was an album based on the history of the McDonald clan. This was an epic work with grand arrangements, historical references and rousing vocal performances. It only however garnered a bit of attention and sales. Capstone of Destiny followed in 1997 and three years later Steve McDonald returned with Highland Farewell.