Newcomer JT Hodges is living the dream. His debut single, 'Hunt You Down,' has quickly become one of the summer's hottest singles, as it's currently closing in on the Top 40. To top things off, Hodges is also on the road in the midst of opening Toby Keith's Locked and Loaded Tour, which also features Eric Church on the bill.

"We’re about two months into the Toby tour, and it’s been everything I hoped it would be," Hodges tells Taste of Country. "Eric’s crew and Toby’s crew and my crew all get along great. It’s everything I hoped it would be and even more. We’re going to go until October 15. It’s going to be sad when it’s all over, but this was a great opportunity for me. It’s a great start out of the gate. I’m looking forward to kind of getting out there on my own a little bit here at the end of the year and the start next year, hitting one fan at a time."

With the amount of touring that Hodges has been doing this summer and fall, he has been building a solid fan base from coast to coast. "Everybody is rooting for me," he says with a smile. "The audiences from all over the place have been very, very responsive. That’s very rewarding considering they don’t really know me or my music yet. It seems like each week, there are more and more people out there singing ‘Hunt You Down,’ and even some of the other songs -- and we haven’t released them yet, except for on YouTube."

"A lot of people say when they first heard the song, they didn’t know what to think of it, but then after hearing it a few times, they really, really liked it," he continues. "The reason why that means a lot to me is because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a song and done the same thing. Then I hear it again at some point, and something hits me, and that artist hits me. Throughout my time on this earth, that is how I’ve come to love some of my favorite artists. It was a little bit different at the time, and I wasn’t used to hearing it. I didn’t know what to expect. Then, boom, something hit me, and now it’s all about that artist or I listen to that album all the time. That’s a good sign to me because that’s the making of a song that potentially can make an impact and help get me to where I want to go as far as who I am as an artist."

Hodges is anticipating the release of his debut album in November on Keith's Show Dog-Universal label. As far as what fans can expect on the album, Hodges says it'll be a little bit of everything.

"You can expect a very, very diverse record from me," he reveals. "Don’t assume just because you heard this first single that the others will be like that. There’s a lot of what I like to do within the frame of what I do, if that makes any sense. I’m just excited for people to hear it because there’s a lot of different angles that I’m tackling … different vibes, different music, as well as what the songs are about. I’m just looking forward to people hearing it. They are going to get a diverse record."

The Locked and Loaded Tour wraps next month, leaving Hodges doing solo dates throughout the remainder of the year. For a complete list of dates where the dark-haired, blue-eyed singer-songwriter will be performing, visit his website here.

Watch the JT Hodges 'Hunt You Down' Video