RockCounsellor – Duggystone Radio – Introuces
Written by kirk on January 12, 2021
RockCounsellor is the alias of Camden based songwriter, musician, and addiction therapist, Thoby Burton.
MusicTherapy is RockCounsellor’s debut album, released on 5th November 2020 on Burton’s own label, Blue Porcelain.
The recording sessions that culminated in the MusicTherapy album were, as the title suggests, intended to be therapeutic. Burton was diagnosed with bladder cancer and resolved to record an album over the duration of the treatment programme to support him emotionally and distract him from the prospect of the discomfort and indignity of the medical procedures.
His diagnosis also inspired a period of self-reflection and the desire to make an album that celebrated the classic rock and pop that had made him the songwriter and musician he had become. Burton chose to collaborate with producer, multi-instrumentalist and composer, Richard Campbell, knowing from having worked together in the past that he shared a passion for the same music. He also needed Campbell to play bass and drums for him, which he keenly agreed to do. In fact, Campbell ended up doing much more than that, contributing guitar and keyboard parts, and solos, as well as orchestrating Burton’s musical melody lines.
As a songwriter and as a therapist, Burton is interested in people and relationships. Many of MusicTherapy’s songs reflect this by using relationships to frame their topics of vulnerability, cancer, drinking, greed, ageing, loss, and righteousness.
Burton’s musical history includes some success in the early to mid-90s when he fronted 67, that signed to Southern Distribution’s first in-house record label Southern Records, where they were label mates with Therapy?, Silverfish and Babes in Toyland. 67 released 3 singles for Southern to critical acclaim in the broadsheet and magazine music press, but sadly never got to release the album they had recorded for the label.
In the late 90s, Burton made music under the pseudonym, Pocket Rocket, which later evolved into a live band playing widely on London’s pub circuit. In the early 2000s, Burton turned his hand to music promotion supporting older musicians online and as a live music promoter, with his enterprise ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP (RTYD), which caught the attention of the mainstream press at the time. When Facebook became the place where older musicians could easily get support from their fans and connect with their musical peers, RTYD lost its niche and petered out.
Around this time Burton drew a line under Pocket Rocket and turned his hand to learning to play the piano to a standard that allowed him to broaden his song writing skills. In the mid-2010s, after 20 years helping people struggling with drug addiction, Burton qualified as a psychotherapist, and this new credential inspired his current music-making alias.