Brett Eldredge

Brett Eldredge is happy to have new music out on the radio these days, as the Illinois native is watching his current single, the infectious "Don't Ya" climb Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart to No. 47. "It feels amazing," he tells us.

The singer, who hit with the tender "Raymond" in 2011, says the fun and carefree songs are usually tougher to write than you might think. "I feel like those are the hardest ones to write. It's really tough to write one that catches you, but I think we hit one with 'Don't Ya,' and I think we knew from the start."

Eldredge said the song has made quite an impact in his live show -- with both sexes. "I started playing it live before we had even picked a single, and I told the crowd it was one of those songs about how girls play tricks on our minds. Some of the women in the audience's reaction was 'We are good at that,' and the men agreed, but it just struck a chord, and people started singing it back, so we knew it was a no-brainer, that it had to be a single."

Has he lived the lyrics of the single. "Nope. Not at all," he says with a sense of mischievousness. "That's one of those things that girls do since we're kids – They'll look at us, then they'll look away, and they'll act like they weren't doing it on purpose, but you know they are. Then you start thinking about it."

His debut album is finished and ready to roll later this year, and nobody is more excited than him. "It's going to be coming out this summer, and I've actually got the album done. It's a great feeling. With the song doing well, it's good to be back out there on the road, singing a song that people sing back to you. I'm so pumped to have people hear it."

He has already made an impact with his breakthrough single from a couple of years back – "Raymond." He admits that he still hears stories every day about how the song has affected others. "I think with Alzheimers' now – more than ever, people are starting to discover it and detect it earlier. You just realize how many people are affected by it. Every day, I always get a few messages about how it has affected someone's life – whether through a family member or a friend. I love that I'm able to get out there and raise awareness of it,  and try to help people cope with it, and maybe eventually find a cure for it. I think about my grandmother, who I wrote the song about. The song came from a real place, and I love getting to sing it out there every night."

Eldredge will be opening up some dates on the spring leg of Taylor Swift's "Red" tour this spring, but it's not the first opening experience he's enjoyed lately. He was also a part of last October's Blake Shelton cruise, which he described as "crazy as the guy who it's named after… I love Blake, and he's a good friend."