Rod Picott and Amanda Shires

Berkeley CafeIt’s an old question: When does the violin turn into the fiddle? And here’s an answer: When it’s in the hands of Amanda Shires on her striking new record, West Cross Timbers, which somewhat ironically kicks off with a song titled “Upon Hearing Violins.” Her fiddle proves to be the perfect instrumental ingredient, whether it’s holding court in some country-swing or staking out elbow room in a roots-rock tune. And at the center of West Cross Timbers is “Angels and Acrobats,” another should-be Americana standard from the pen of Shires’ duet partner, Rod Picott. Pay $10 at 8 p.m. Visit www.berkeleycafe.net. Rick Cornell