“I hate music,” Paul Westerberg famously declared, “it’s got too many notes.” Surely, he was thinking of wanky guitarists when he sang those lines, and especially those of the masturbatory-showoff-speed-soloist variety. Though Eric Johnson
often appears beside such soulless shredders both in public perception—and onstage—remember that this is the guy who may have had the last instrumental semi-hit on the radio with “Cliffs of Dover,” an altogether catchy melody that’s hard for even the staunchest note haters to resist. Count the famous Marin guitarists in the crowd when Johnson plays with Andy McKee and Pepino D’Agostino on Sunday, Jan. 16, at the Marin Center (Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael; 3pm; $20–$35; 415.499.6800). The tour also hits the Napa Valley Opera House on Friday, Jan. 21 (1030 Main St., Napa; 8pm; $30-$35; 707.226.7372).