Robert 'Doc' Mthalane SOUTH AFRICA


The late acoustic and electric guitarist Robert 'Doc' Mthalane On 'Respect' : "..this is one of those albums that can enrich your life and soothe your soul."Seven Magazine Sep 2000 Robert 'Doc' Mthalane was a constant in the South African pantheon of virtuoso guitarists since the late '60s. He first picked up the guitar at the age of 11 and was naturally influenced by his brother Enoch, an outstanding guitarist in his own right who currently performs with Jonas Gwanga. His first group was the heavy rock outfit Naked Truth and then in 1978 he joined Harare. In the earlier stage of heis careeer Doc toured with and wrote songs for Busi Mhlongo


  1. Respect

A historically important group in terms of the development of South African music, Harare recorded three albums and had a number of hits. When they split he formed Kesaba who recorded four successful albums. During the 80's he started experimenting with his own concept of music that mixed the traditions of Africa with rock. He earned himself the nickname, "the Jimi Hendrix of South Africa", and in the 90's spent his time both playing with and writing songs for acclaimed Zulu singer Busi Mhlongo and her group Twasa. He first came to M.E.L.T.'s attention whilst working with Madala Kunene, and the two were joined by legendary percussionist Mabi Thobejane to record this album in England in 96. With intermittent bouts of sickness, the recording of this album was a long and difficult experience for all involved, but the music produced reflects the simple beauty of being alive, and pays homage to one of the greatest guitarists to have arisen from South Africa. Produced by Brice Wassy, Respect (BW2094)features Busi Mhlongo and Lungiswa Plaatjies who combine their stunning voices on the final track Song for Doc. With surging crescendos, this deeply moving tune is a fitting tribute to 'Doc's' last recording. Sadly on the night of Friday May 15th Robert 'Doc' Mthalane died in a Durban hospital, leaving us with one last exquisite album of uplifting and heart-rending beauty.