Billy Joe Shaver may have walked through his world as an old chunk of coal, but today he’s regarded as the diamond standard of country tunesmiths. Shaver’s hardscrabble childhood is documented in such autobiographical songs as “Old Chunk of Coal” and “I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train,” where he sings, “I got all my country learning picking cotton, raising hell, and bailing hay.” His songs have been covered by Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Patty Loveless and Elvis Presley, among others. Call him an “old five-and-dimer” or a honky-tonk hero, Shaver is a bona fide legend whose live performances reveal the artist as embodiment of country music’s heart and soul. On Monday, Shaver brings it all to the Berkeley Café. www.berkeleycafe.net
• Friday night, North Carolina’s own Sheila Kay Adams, recently awarded a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, will sing her Appalachian ballads and tell her homespun stories at the ArtsCenter. Also Friday, Swift Creek appears at the Pour House, the Boys from Carolina pick bluegrass at the Pittsboro Road House and General Store, and world-beat emissaries Donna the Buffalo play Southland Ballroom. On Saturday, PineCone hosts New England singer-songwriter Erin McDermott in a free concert in Sertoma Amphitheatre at Cary’s Bond Park. And on Sunday, the Red Clay Ramblers ramble to Aberdeen for a performance at the Poplar Knight Spot; The Cackalacky Sisters will open.