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

Made with generous support and encouragement from the Berea College Appalachian Sound Archives, American Winter (2007) is comprised of archival recordings, interviews, and in-between sounds combined with live instruments. It was released on the prestigious Chicago avant-label Atavistic Records.

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/radio broadcasts are in the forefront. The pieces point toward both the season of winter and to more ambiguous 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.