There have been countless examples of non-Latino producers and musicians embracing Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music, but Mexican music is one area of Latin music that -- generally speaking -- hasn't received as much attention from non-Latinos. Many non-Latinos who know all about Cuba's Celia Cruz or Brazil's Astrud Gilberto couldn't tell you anything about the legacies of La Banda el Recodo, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, José Alfredo Jiménez, or Lola Beltrán. But Mexico has a rich musical heritage -- every bit as rich as Brazil or Cuba -- and producer/engineer Stefan Winter (of Munich, Germany's Winter & Winter label) and colleagues Andrés Mayo and Mariko Takahashi set out to capture that richness when, in March 2004, they visited Mexico to document local singers and musicians. Those sessions resulted in Cuadernos de Mexico, an engaging three-CD set that spotlights traditional Mexican music in its most raw, earthy, and basic state. This is not a collection of modern banda, norteño, grupero, or Tejano stars who record for Univision-affiliated labels; most of these acoustic performances (which were recorded in Mexico City as well as more rural parts of Mexico) favor a very stripped-down approach -- what one hears from singer Susana Harp (who served as the project's artistic advisor), Los Caminantes, Duo Xavizende, Son de Madera, and others is arguably a Mexican equivalent of Mississippi Delta blues, early Appalachian bluegrass, and Cuba's early soneros (the guajiros who played son in small duos and trios before Beny Moré and others brought Afro-Cuban rhythms to large dance orchestras). Full of Mexican standards like "La Bamba," "Cielito Lindo," and Agustín Lara's "María Bonita," Cuadernos de Mexico often becomes a celebration of Mexico's long musical history -- and it's a collection that lovers of Latin roots music should make a point of obtaining.