GREAT FIDDLE RIDDLE; Mystery as Irish Music Hits New Low in States
Byline: JULIAN BROUWER in NEW YORK
IRISH music is less popular than ever with American audiences - with new bands such as Westlife failing miserably in the United States.
US music publications have warned that the golden period once enjoyed by The Pogues, Sinead O'Connor and The Chieftains is officially OVER as Ireland's top bands suddenly tumble out of favour with their once devoted American audiences.
In the past, melodic classics by the Clancy Brothers, politically inspired rock from Black 47 and the traditional tunes of Riverdance were all sure-fire winners across the pond.
But the old favourites are no longer fashionable and more recent acts like Westlife and Ronan Keating are greeted with yawns by disinterested American music fans as the stars struggle to repeat their European successes.
Sultry Samantha Mumba is the only new Irish artist who has managed to break into the American music scene.
Her single Gotta Tell You reached the number two position in the American Billboard charts and she has snapped up a role in Stephen Speilberg's new movie The Time Machine.
And superstar Ronan Keating vowed last week he still has plans to conquer the US despite his debut single Lovin' Each Day flopping Stateside, selling just 25,000 copies.
And he revealed he plans to release a second single there later this year. He said: "I'm just in talks with the label now and we're getting Rollercoaster ready.
The reason for the slump is mystifying industry insiders.
"I don't think it's a conscious thing," said Geoff Mayfield, of charts magazine Billboard. …