Brilliant, maddening, addictive....Harnetty has proved that one way to preserve history is to weave it into the moment and let it vanish in our midst while echoing forever its truths, aphorisms, superstitions, and lies. Highly recommended. 4.5/5 stars.
— Thom Jurek, Allmusic
Many are the artists who have been deeply affected by hearing scratchy old recordings, but Brian Harnetty has devised a way to let us simultaneously experience ancient audio documents and his music inspired by them….Harnetty lets us eavesdrop on moments of great beauty….there are so many striking moments.
— Clive Bell, The Wire

American Winter, Brian Harnetty's recording debut, was released in 2007 to wide critical acclaim. Dusted Magazine stated that American Winter was a "seamless exploration of some deep vaults while recontextualizing the sound of America’s past for a whole new generation." The album is comprised of archival songs, interviews, and in-between sounds of the Berea College Appalachian Sound Archives combined with live instruments. American Winter was released on the Chicago avant-label Atavistic Records, and was made with generous support and encouragement from the Berea College Appalachian Sound Archives.

Three connected streams are present: Songs made from interviews and singing, brief interlude pieces (from radio broadcasts, home-made recordings, and field recordings), and story pieces where extended interviews and radio broadcasts are in the forefront. The pieces point toward both the season of winter and to broader ideas: the winter of politics, war, emotion, history, and finally to its ultimate hope of renewal.

Below, listen to selected tracks from the album, and view a recently made score for American Winter to mark its 10-year anniversary.