Since my playing time is very limited I’ve learned to connect with other musicians via the internet. Having a great selection of “Play Along” tunes lined up on YouTube has really helped me out, especially when trying to keep up or understand variations in a tune. There are so many great garage artists out there that it’s easy to pick four or five versions of a tune to really learn it inside and out. I suspect you would have been a lucky itinerant musician to have stumbled across such an assortment in the slower Pre-Industrial days.
Here’s a fine English fiddler performing the Swallowtail Jig. I’ve been playing along with him recently and I suggest checking out the rest of his videos if this type of music suits you. He has a nice version of the old classic Old Mother Flanagan I particularly like as well.