Sitting backstage before a gig just outside Chicago earlier this month, Morgan Wallen took the time to let his mind dwell a bit on the year that was, and the plans he hopes to conquer come 2019.

“This year has been a long year,” Wallen told Taste of Country before a recent charity show alongside Devin Dawson. “I think we will have played 160 shows when 2018 is all said and done, but I’m not tired. I’m still loving it. There really is good momentum in terms of what we have going on right now, and I feel like it would be a disservice to me and to my fans if I took a bunch of time off.”

Yet, God knows that every country music warrior needs a rest eventually. And Wallen will get that much-deserved break next month, just in time to enjoy the December holidays.

“I think I’ve got December 16 through January 1 blocked off, so I have about two weeks," notes the “Up Down” hit maker, adding, "Two weeks are plenty. I don’t know what I'd do with much longer.”

Wallen says he plans to possibly spend this downtime in Florida with family and friends, and then he will be back in East Tennessee for Christmas. After that, it will be time to get back to work. In 2019, that will mean heading off on his headlining If I Know Me Tour.

“I just want to keep doing what we are doing, but just on a bigger scale,” he says. “The response we have been getting lately is pretty mind-blowing. I’m just hoping to keep that going.”

Keeping things going will mean continuing to play cuts off his current If I Know Me album, including his current single "Whiskey Glasses." The singer says that he's feeling good about how fans seem to be enjoying the entire project, and not just the focus track.

“People aren’t just listening to my single, but they are listening to the whole album—and that’s really encouraging to me because you just never know what’s going to happen when you put something out,” he says. “You don’t even know if people will like one song, so if the full project is something they like and love, it’s very humbling, and it makes you work even harder.”

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