I suspect you remember the first incarnation of the Scots group Alba - originally a trio with Sean O'Rourke (JSD) on bouzouki and flute, Tony Cuffe (Ossian) on guitar and Mike Ward (Tannahill Weavers) on fiddle and mandolin. Mike (also a classical guitarist) used to do a bit of fingerstyle mandolin. They later added Alan MacLeod on pipes.
They used to do quite a nice line in gentle fingerstyle tunes. They put out one LP, I think. I vaguely remember that one of these fingerstyle pieces might have been The Star of Munster.
I once booked the early trio for a folk club gig, and saw them later at Thurso Festival with added pipes, where the contrast between the pipe/fiddle stuff and the fingerstyle fretted things was one of the hallmarks of their live show. It was sometimes difficult to distinguish between mandolin, bouzouki and fingerstyle guitar, but that was part of the appeal.
Incidentally, I think everyone would have been playing into microphones. Hardly anyone had pick-ups then.
I have often thought that it was a distinctive and very attractive sound which no-one has really tried to do since, to my knowledge at any rate.
Tony was a very gifted and original player, who also adapted his style to the tiple. A nice man too. Greatly missed.
Surely we've all messed around with fingerstyle playing before we've taken the pick out of our pockets...... or am I the only person that doesn't keep the pick wedged between the strings? That said, I've never developed fingerstyle mandolin (or any style of playing on any instrument!) to the level seen in Ptarmi's clip. Leafing through an old edition of BMG magazine, I once stumbled upon an arrangement of a ragtime tune for fingerstyle mandolin - although, being a library copy, and since I was on a mission to seek out something specific, I never tried it out.
BTW, Quentin Cooper, in addition to being a fine melody player and accompanist on mandolin, octave mandolin and fiddle, also plays guitar and double bass - so he is no stranger to fingerstyle. He's also a jolly nice chap, with boundless enthusiasm for music.
....and nice to see the triangle represented in Irish Traditional Music.
Aye sorry, what I meant really was studio &/or on stage through a PA.
It's just that I can't imagine fingerstyle being very practical in a session situation, that's all.
As for Tony, yes I heard him play that Tiple in sessions a few times & liked the sound of it well enough to get my own Tiple, but eventually traded it, a Mandolin & a couple of Melodeons in, for a Tenor Banjo!