Ben Harper hand-picked Jack Johnson (moviemaker, surfer, singer/songwriter) as the opening act for his latest national tour for obvious reasons. Like Harper, Johnson cross-pollinates Dave Matthews’ groove with Jimi Hendrix’s relaxed acoustic soul. Johnson’s magnificent debut, Brushfire Fairytales, provides an open-hearted treasure chest of simple yet substantial songs that range from rootsy to rollicking, from straightforward folk to slow-simmering bluesy funk. His lyrics are heartfelt but playful, making his ruminations on such topics as football and his girlfriend’s toes endearing and occasionally sublime. It’s a timeless record, one to be experienced rather than merely listened to, and though it could be compared with classics, it’s not so much a throwback as it is a longing look at when music seemed to matter.