Faith Hill seems close to finally ending her six-year absence from record store bins this year, as she is currently "smack dab in the middle" of working on a new album that she hopes to release in 2011.

The singer first tells CMT "we haven't made it to the studio yet, but it's coming," only to quickly correct herself.  "I actually have been in the studio, but no one's really heard anything. That's going to be the nice part -- to actually get it finished and get it out there for people to hear."

Hill also reports she is "ready to be onstage" again as well. She seemed inspired by the prospect of this weekend's (now-aired) 'CMT: Crossroads' live televised performance with Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders: "To do this show on Saturday night just gives me the bug again. I've never lost that part of it."

Working on the new record has been a bit of a journey for Hill, who says, "I'm just trying to find that spark, that thing that's exciting for me ... and that feels inspired and true and honest, from an honest place. It's been a creative journey."

As for why it's been six years since we had a studio record from her, Hill says, "I didn't really intend to take this much time off in between albums. But it's important for it to be the right thing for me musically. It's just the process. It's like a rediscovery. And in the midst of rediscovery, it just takes time. I want it to be really good and represent me. I want it to be real."

She further explained the long break in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. "I’m the mother of three daughters, and a wife, and that’s what my priority is. I work on records when I can." As for when we will finally be able to hear that new music, Hill says, "I hope this year."

To date, Hill has notched eight No. 1 singles, three No. 1 country albums and has sold over 40 million records worldwide.