Have been watching A&E Biography tonight and came up with a startling
piece of information that bears heavily on this thread. The biography
was of the Rolling Stone and talked about their early days. Their
recording company refused to record them any more UNLESS they started
writing their own music. It seems they couldn't make any money on them
playing "old" standards or other people's music. Not clear whether this
was an issue of copyrights or one of record buyers not being interested
in music others have written/done.
Applying this logic to Irtrad, it may provide the reason that
performances such as "Riverdance" and those by the Chieftains are so
popular and make so mucg money while the usual Irtrad musician is lucky
to make drink money. If so, it then appears that choosing the "pure
drop" is an economic decision as much, if not more than a musical one
and has little if anything to do with musical skills.