by Dan Schram
The last time legendary Texas songwriter Billy Joe Shaver visited Raleigh, he played the Hideaway BBQ just before that venue shut down. He returned this past Monday for a show at the Berkeley Cafe, just as its storied music hall prepares to do the same at the end of June.
Shaver, 73, played to a packed house and was as animated as ever, at times waltzing on stage while singing his songs, and at one point showing the women in the audience how to properly turn their fist over when throwing a punch at their mate.
Shaver ran through several songs from his 40-year-old classic album Old Five and Dimers Like Me as well as tunes from his latest studio disc, Everybody's Brother. It was hot in the music hall and even hotter on stage, but Shaver played for more than 90 minutes to an adoring crowd. Below are two clips from the show, including a story about writing "Ragged Old Truck" that involves, among other things, a suicide attempt and taking a sheet of acid.
"Ragged Old Truck":
"When Fallen Angels Fly":