Hey, your sheet music for that tune isn't the way I play it!
Well, I'm not surprised.
Folk music is a living, oral tradition. That means that as the music is transmitted from musician to musician, it tends to change over time. I've played in a lot of different sessions, in Houston, Dallas, northern Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and even got to play a bit in Ireland on my honeymoon. And every session I've been to has had different variations on the tunes.
The tunes in my archives only represent one possible way that the tune might be played. It's not definitive. If your session plays a tune differently, then you'll need to use your ears to make up the differences. Or ask someone for sheet music to the version they play at your session. But if you already know most of the tune as they play it, picking out the differences isn't that difficult, and good practice for learning by ear.
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