The past year has been quite the whirlwind for newcomer Brantley Gilbert who has gone from having hit singles as a songwriter to having a new hit single as an artist. In 2010, Jason Aldean recorded two of Gilbert's songs -- 'My Kinda Party' and his current single, 'Dirt Road Anthem' -- for his 'My Kinda Party' album. The title track hit No. 2 on Billboard's country singles chart, and 'Dirt Road Anthem' is quickly approaching the Top 10.

Earlier this year, Gilbert inked a deal with Valory Music Co. to release new music from his own album as an artist. His current single, 'Country Must Be Country Wide,' is making a huge impact at country radio and broadening his ever growing fan base.

"The folks at Valory have the reputation of being the hardest working and strongest in the business," Gilbert tells Taste of Country. "I can't tell you how great it's been [working with them]. It's been a lot faster pace, of course. We've been a lot busier, but it's been great. They give us a lot of creative leeway. It's been awesome."

Gilbert is working in the studio on his Valory debut, which will be familiar to some of his diehard fans who have been on board with the Georgia-based singer for years now.

"We're working on a deluxe edition of [my last album] 'Halfway to Heaven,'" Gilbert explains. "We're going to re-release it with three new songs. We're looking forward to that!"

While fans wait for the new project to hit stores later this year, they can enjoy the album's lead-off single, 'Country Must Be Country Wide,' for which he just completed the music video.

"We shot it up here in Nashville at the abandoned state penitentiary, which was kind of freaky," Gilbert says with a smile. "But other than that, it was a great shoot. We had a lot of fun. We put up a 24-hour notice on the website if you wanted to be in the video, just come out and make sure you're in Nashville. We released the location back in the middle of the night, and people were driving in and flying in and tailgating out there at 6AM. It was pretty wild."

Gilbert can be found on the road this summer doing individual dates, as well as dates on the 2011 Country Throwdown Tour, featuring Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Lee Brice, Craig Campbell and Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real.

"The tour is going great," Gilbert notes. "It's such a great environment."

Gilbert has even be utilizing his songwriting chops on the tour. "Me and Lee Brice started [a new song] last week," he reveals.

For a complete list of dates where Gilbert can be found this year on the road, click here.

Watch the Brantley Gilbert 'Country Must Be Country Wide' Video