If you haven't heard of Brett Eldredge, just turn on the radio.

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Country singer Brett Eldredge has made quite a name for himself on the Nashville scene. With his first Opry performance in 2010, and hits like "Don't Ya," "Mean To Me," and "Beat Of The Music," Brett has developed a strong fan base (and, won a few hearts along the way!). This June, Brett is one of the stars headlining Rock The South, a booming country music festival in Cullman, Alabama. Rock The South runs June 2-3, 2017, and features other superstar musicians like Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Maren Morris, and Dustin Lynch. We sat down with Brett to talk about everything from his dream girl to his upcoming show in Cullman to his beloved pup, Edgar.

What song are you planning to open with at Rock The South?

Brett Eldredge: It might change from now to then, but I'm probably going to open with a song called "Superhero" from my new album. It's not out yet. I like to play some songs that people haven't gotten the chance to hear, and "Superhero" is a song that has a lot of energy. It's just really fun for everyone to get involved with before I go into some songs that they've heard a bunch of times before. I'd like to tease them a little bit with something new!

What are you most excited for about Rock The South?

I've never gotten to experience it – I've only heard the hype from the fans. That's really cool. There are some shows, like this one, that you hear about and you just know it's going to be a passionate, wild crowd. I am ready to Rock The South for sure. Me and my band – we will be on full throttle that weekend.

Does your dog, Edgar, come on stage with you?

He's always with me on the road, but every once in awhile I'll get a wild spurt in me to take him on stage with me. But, he gets a little nervous with the thousands and thousands of fans. Last time I brought him on, he was crawling across the stage on his stomach. He was freaked out. I'm letting him grow up a little bit more from a pup to adulthood before I traumatize him too much more. But he has been on stage a few times! Back when he was a puppy, I carried him onstage in a Baby Bjorn. I walked around and sang with him onstage and he had on puppy headphones. It was pretty funny. 

What do you love most about Alabama?

I got Edgar not too far from Birmingham! I've spent quite a bit of time down in Alabama – we stop there all the time when we go on vacation. I've been playing there for years now, having been on tours with other artists in Alabama and playing the amphitheatres, but I'm still excited! I like the food down in the South and I definitely like the food down in Alabama.

I especially love how everyone's down to earth. It reminds me of the people that I grew up around, with just a little bit of a different drawl in their accent. They're good country folk. I always feel at home in Alabama. It lives up to its hype, for sure!

Do you have a favorite Southern food?

My grandmother made this amazing fried chicken, and she was a classic country cook. She could make anything in that category. She wasn't going to make anything fancy, but she raised me that way. Now, I'm a very healthy eater. Whenever I go down South, though, I usually splurge a little bit. I love a good meat-and-three or BBQ. Anything like that, in the South – you can't lose.

Tell us about your new album. Why did you choose to self-title it?

I think it kind of happened naturally. I never planned on self-titling it, to be honest. Once I got the whole body of work together, I started playing around with it. This record is far deeper in subject matter, lyrics, and melodies than anything I've ever done. I've been writing for a long time to try to get to this point. Illinois was my last record, and that was the pre-cursor to releasing a self-titled album. Sometimes I think, "Man, it feels weird to have an album that just has my name on it." But that's it. It's just Brett Eldredge. I guess that's my name!

I've been fortunate that my fans really let me be me. I goof off and I have fun with them, and they let me by myself. I do that on this record more than any record I've ever put out, so it made sense to self-title it. If that's what it takes to self-title, then I guess we're going for it.

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Is there a specific track off the album that you're excited to premiere?

I just premiered a really powerful song called "The Long Way." It just came out. It's crazy – I was watching it all night and it was racing up the sale charts. It was really cool. You never know what people are going to do with new songs. I know this one is really honest and it's got a lot of emotion. It's been connecting with fans, so that's really cool to see.

There's a few on this album I'm excited about. There's a song called "No Stopping You" that is about being in love with someone but knowing that they've still got a lot of life to live. Maybe need to go off and chase their dream. But, you have to let them go. It's kinda like: Go on, do your thing, and I'm still going to love you for it. It hits you in the heart for sure.

So, speaking of love – you've mentioned that this year you're looking for love. What are you looking for?

I guess at this point in my life, I'm looking for something deeper. I don't want to just get to know someone on the surface. I want somebody with a good heart that's a caring person and a go-with-the-flow kinda girl. I want someone who's up for laughing at themselves and laughing at me – because I should be laughed at all the time, and I tend to be an idiot sometimes. I'll own that. [laughs] I want someone who's comfortable with themselves and who's a good girl with a lot of heart.

That's all I'm looking for: Someone with a big heart and a soul I can travel around the world with. It's a crazy journey to go off on your own.

What's your idea of the perfect date?

Every one of my dates are all over the place. Planning is not a good quality of mine. I'm a very spontaneous person, to the point where I'll say, "I'll pick you up and we'll go figure something out." It's not that I can't plan anything, but, if it's a girl that I'm meeting for the first time, I don't like a stale environment. Let's have fun, let's go do something active. Let's go on a hike! Let's go somewhere beautiful. Let me show you somewhere you've never seen before.

I like to experience something new with that person and see their eyes light up. That's how you get to know someone, instead of just sitting in a stale bar or restaurant. Plus, that can be awkward sometimes. I like to get out there and see things. Then, you're loosened up, and you can just let the world happen and ride along with it. That's how I like to be spontaneous.

What’s your favorite way to spend a summer weekend?

I'm a big water guy, so when I am not on tour, which is pretty much every summer weekend [laughs], my ideal way to spend it is to be in the islands somewhere parked on a sandbar, playing bocce ball, and having a pineapple and rum or vodka drink. Just relaxing and celebrating life. I like to shut my brain off as much as possible, which is very hard for me because my brain is a motor and it never stops running.

But, whenever I can get away and disconnect and be with my pals, or just roam around and get away from it all, that's the way I like to spend a summer weekend. Usually it's on the water and usually it's with friends that you can just goof off and be yourself with.

Don't miss out on the fun! Get your tickets to Rock The South here and join the biggest party in the South. The festival will be held June 2-3 in Cullman, Alabama, and has General Admission and Front Porch Seating tickets still available.

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