Singer/songwriter Ellen Soukup's latest CD called "Jerusalem," which came out in November of 2009, is her first album since "The Truth is There" was released in 2003. "I would have done this probably sooner, but my husband and I decided to use the money to redo our kitchen," she laughed. There were advantages to the delay. Ellen said she wrote most of the songs between 2003 and 2005. So, by the time she sat down in the studio to record them, everything came easily. "During the hour-long drive to the recording studio, I prayed the rosary, and when I got there, I could just sing like crazy," she recalled. "I was able to record piano and vocals for eight songs in one day." Her producer, J. Scott Gaeta, was astounded. Typically, a singer might only be able to record one or two songs in a day. Ellen is eager to give the credit to the Holy Spirit, and not only for her successful recording session. As she analyzed her songwriting process, she admitted to relying heavily on the Holy Spirit as she develops a song. "Sometimes I come up with words first, or a statement...other times I start with the melody," she said. "I totally let the Holy Spirit take over...I don't feel I'm equipped and good enough at doing it on my own." For example, one of the songs on her new album, "Fortune," began with a statement Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, made during conference she had attended as the music leader. "He said, 'Someone died and left you a fortune. We have been redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ,'" Ellen remembered. She immediately dug a scrap of paper out of her purse and jotted it down. The words stayed in her mind - and her purse - for weeks. A couple months later, she asked the bishop's permission to turn it into a song, and he agreed. More statements were scribbled onto the paper, which graduated to a position on Ellen's piano. Musical notations were penciled in above lyrics. As the months went by, the song took shape and made it onto the album. Ellen said that this new album is, "the most true to myself and my faith than my other recordings." She explained that while she was working on her previous albums, she wanted to be appealing to a wider Christian audience. "I used to worry, 'Maybe people of other religions wouldn't like that song...' But a lot of people of different faiths said their favorites on my other CDs were what I considered my most Catholic songs, so I decided to do what feels best." Consisting mostly of original compositions with a couple of new arrangements of traditional spiritual songs, the album is titled "Jerusalem," after Ellen's favorite of the 11 selections. "'Jerusalem' is about looking all around at the beautiful things God has made and realizing that heaven is so, so, so much better," Ellen smiled. Other songs address different kinds of issues. "Someday" is an impassioned plea to a family member who had left the Church. "Settling Down" is about making a Holy Hour. Ellen's song "Peace" uses the words of the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. Knowing there are several different versions of that prayer, she researched carefully for the most authentic version. The only extra work she did on the lyrics was some minor changes to make the words fit the melody. Other songs include her arrangements of "His Eye is On the Sparrow," which Ellen sang when she was a college student and member of the Scarlet and Cream Singers (a show choir at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln), and "Give Me Jesus." Students at St. John the Apostle elementary school in Lincoln, where she teaches music two days a week, were excited about one song in particular, because they are Ellen's back-up singers. "It's based on Archbishop [Fulton] Sheen's Prayer for Life," she explained. "I wrote that one for the kids at St. John's to sing on First Fridays, so I recorded it with the kids singing with me." Ellen's teenaged daughter, Carolyn, and her husband, John, also sang back-up for a number of the songs. Full instrumentation was provided by her producer, and several other people contributed to the project. "Jerusalem" is a dynamic collection of songs that range from prayerful reflection to gospel-inspired melodies. Listeners will experience the heart and soul of this evolving singer/songwriter. "I just hope that when people hear the album, they'll feel uplifted and prayerful," said Ellen. "I want them to hear and feel the Holy Spirit through these songs, because He's worked through me."