This week we welcome Earle Hitchner as our guest blogger. Earle is the “Ceol” (music) columnist for the Irish Echo newspaper, a freelance music writer for The Wall Street Journal, and a member of the advisory board of the City University of New York’s Institute for Irish American Studies. His writing has also appeared in Billboard, The Oxford American, Details, Publishers Weekly, Attenzione, Rhythm Music, Journal of the Society for American Music, The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, and 67 recordings, including the Boston Pops Orchestra’s 1998 Grammy-nominated The Celtic Album. Born in Philadelphia, Earle has lived in New York’s Hudson Valley since 1992. He has a B.A. from La Salle University and an M.A. from CUNY Lehman College, and is currently working on his doctoral dissertation at Drew University. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Marist College, Drew University, and CUNY Lehman College, and lectured at Boston College, New York University, University of Missouri-St. Louis, CUNY Graduate Center, and University of Limerick. Among the authors he has interviewed and written about are poet Billy Collins, novelist Bernard MacLaverty, and biographer Gary Giddins.