Brett Eldredge's second album, Illinois, dropped Friday (Sept. 11), and it came from a very special place: home. The title is an ode to the state that brought the singer up, and there's even a song honoring his hometown of Paris, Ill. When Eldredge stopped by the ToC Nights studio this week, he was beaming with pride.

“I am from Illinois. I was born and raised there," Eldredge declares, "The song ‘Illinois’ is all about being from there. It’s kind of a song about no matter where you go in life, the place you come from is what made who you who you are."

Tom Douglas and Brad Crisler helped Eldredge bring his love of home to life — something the rising star didn't think would ever happen.

“My dream came true to have an album called Illinois," he says.

Among the twelve songs on Illinois is an interesting track called "Shadow," and it's one many listeners will be able to relate to.

“‘Shadow’ is a song about, everybody has an alter-ego when they get to drinking. There’s another side of you that comes out, that follows you around on your shoulder a little bit. It’s whispering, ‘Have another drink.’ … Next thing you know you’re dancing on a bar. It’s about that alter-ego that’s chasing you around and you’re trying to outrun it, but sometimes, it gets you,” Eldredge explains.

“On ‘Shadow’ I started beatboxing the drums because I wanted to tell him what the drums needed to sound like, but the only way I could tell him was to beatbox it for him on the microphone, and he recorded it. Then I picked up a stapler and I started recording a stapler and then all of a sudden that’s on the song."

Eldredge's Illinois is in stores everywhere.

 Sam Alex is the host of Taste of Country Nights radio, a syndicated night show which airs on more than 60 Townsquare Media Group stations nationwide.