His 2008 album, That Lonesome Song, was certified platinum for 1 million in sales, and his 2010 ambitious double album, The Guitar Song, received a gold certification.
In addition, he won two Song of the Year Trophies, for “Give It Away” and “In Color,” both from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. He has received tremendous praise from The New York Times, Rolling Stone,
The Wall Street Journal and other publications, many of which have
hailed his albums as masterpieces.
In 2012, the Alabama native released his fifth studio album, a tribute project to late songwriter Hank Cochran. The Grammy-nominated Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran paired him with Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Ray Price, Elvis Costello, George Strait, Vince Gill and Merle Haggard.
In 2013, the Nashville Scene’s 13th annual Country Music Critics’ Poll named it the year’s best album. (Two years earlier, the same poll named Johnson’s The Guitar Song as the year's best album, and Johnson himself as best male vocalist, best songwriter and artist of the year.)