During a recent five-hour flight, rising country music singer Dillon Carmichael spent four of those hours writing the thank yous that would be listed in his upcoming album.

Before he knew it, he started getting emotional.

“The guy next to me had to think I was crazy,” Carmichael tells Taste of Country. “I was just writing name after name and just literally pouring my heart out, but there are just so many people out there that saved me. I mean, I was going to go back home to Kentucky and just come to Nashville to write, and these were the people that told me to give it another try for six more months…just six more months.”

Carmichael now finds himself weeks away from the Aug. 17 release of his new album, Hell on an Angel.

“I just thought that album title sounded cool,” he says.

“We were originally going to call the album after the road I grew up on, but I really didn’t feel that it fit the story of the album. I love the word angel," he adds with a laugh. "All writers have their favorite words and angel is mine. It just felt right.”

The album, produced by the award-winning Dave Cobb, has already elicited quite a reaction from his growing fan base. “I never would have imagined the reaction we have been getting to these songs,” says Carmichael, who recently played the Next from Nashville stage at the Country Lakeshake music festival in Chicago.

“It's so amazing. It boggles my mind that these fans are loving songs that aren’t even officially out yet. It’s not bad for a kid from Kentucky," he says with another laugh. "I can feel the growth in my career at the moment.”

The early recognition the album has received has Carmichael being compared to some of country music’s greatest voices, including Jamey Johnson and Chris Stapleton.

“I see what they are saying when they say things like that, but it's almost like a complete stranger coming up to you and saying you look just like my brother,” says Carmichael, whose uncles are John Michael Montgomery and Montgomery Gentry’s Eddie Montgomery. “Sometimes people just sound alike and sing alike, and it's human nature to compare people to other people, but I don’t know. I just don’t know how to feel about it. I mean, Jamey Johnson is amazing and I truly believe Chris Stapleton is the best singer of our time, so it's truly a compliment.”

Carmichael is also preparing for his Grand Ole Opry debut on Aug. 21.

“I used to do security at the Opry, and everyone told me that one of the perks was the fact that you could step in the circle and no one would say anything,” he recalls. “I could never do it, even when no one was looking. I worked there for two years and I never stepped in that circle. I’m a singer. I used to walk around it. It was silly, but there was just something in me that didn’t want to do it unless I earned it."

And now, he has.

“It's going to be an emotional night, that’s for sure.”

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