Music can mean many things to different people. For some, it’s an escape or a way to take a mental vacation. For others it’s a way to release energy and can even be cathartic. But for long-time musician Kit Worton, it’s a way to raise the bar with his skills and emit feeling like never before.
Worton has always had music in his blood. Although the songwriter and guitarist had set up roots near the coastal town of Atlantic City, his love of music started at the age of 4 where he was born and raised, in Washington DC.
“My grandfather and uncle really started me on that path. My family had a lot of musicians in it, so, at a really young age, we sat around playing music, from the time I was three or four years old,” says Worton. “They started teaching me the ukulele when I was four. My heritage, I have some gypsy background, so a lot of the family cousins, 20-30 [of them] every week would come over and we would be playing songs from the ’20s or ’30s. That’s what I learned first, I didn’t even know who The Beatles were.”
Worton also started off working with legendary musicians at a young age, and even began guitar lessons at age 6 with Peggy Lee, a popular American jazz singer, songwriter, composer and actress, who hit it big in the ’60s and amassed a career spanning six decades. Those lessons were a jumping-off point for a long musical path ahead.
Worton’s career so far involves recording musical and vocal tracks for the past five reigning Miss America winners, producing and writing for various top ten finalists for “Americas Got Talent,” “The Voice” and “American Idol,” working and collaborating with Grammy award-winning rapper and producer Praz Michel of the Fugees, Bryun Lee and Roy Hamilton III, and working as a musical director to Merv Griffin for his popular set of Atlantic City shows (the show host and media mogul even called Worton’s work on his show a “musical genius”)—just to name a few accolades. The work of Worton also made it into the entertainment sphere, the musician has recorded for a few different TV shows and movies including ABC’s “Wildfire,” and “Cashmere Mafia,” and in films with producer James Brolin and director Stewart Rafill.
But where Worton really got to show off his talents was on the road. With his 5-6 piece group the Right Touch Band, Worton and his wife Rose, who was also in the group, toured and traveled for 50 weeks out of the year for fifteen years. Their touring took them all over the country and even overseas to different places like Saudi Arabia.
“We traveled all over the place for a lot of years. I would be writing original songs where we were and I would have recording equipment with us every place we would go, and we would record original songs, record the band, record whatever,” says Worton. “We would go from town to town, play eight weeks in Vegas, Tahoe, and every little town in between then come back to Atlantic City [to] play eight weeks and do the same thing over again. I’ve always been writing original songs, but as far as working with people and clientele, after we settled down and bought a house in West Atlantic City, I started building a studio over there. That’s really where Right Touch Studios started.”
Worton launched Right Touch Studios over two decades ago, and has worked with an abundant amount of artists from every genre ranging from pop to country to R&B and everything in between. While writing and arranging for his clients, Worton also worked on over 200 songs of his own. A few of them are on his latest album, “Jack Neat,” which was just released this month.
“A lot of the songs [on this album], I had started 8-10 years ago. Through the years I never really got to focus on making them right, so, in this last year, I just tried to say I was going to finish them up and maybe put 4-5 covers on there too,” says Worton. “For me, I try to do something to make myself better as a musician. As I get older, the more I know about what I do, so I just try to make myself better and I thought let me put this stuff out now. As far as instrumental songs like “Jack Neat,” that kind of project, to me it’s all about feeling.”
Worton worked some with bassist Bob Fowler on the album, but for the most part played almost everything you hear himself. Being seasoned in lyrical and instrumental writing, that’s par for the course for the local musician.
“Jack Neat” does certainly exude the feelings that Worton worked to showcase through his original songs and covers. With an assortment of tracks ranging in emotion and experience, you actually get more than what you originally bargained for, and it’s all smooth and a little fiery—much like a Jack neat drink itself. Whether it’s quick and upbeat like “Mr. Bation” or a bit on the slower side with a track like the title song, “Jack Neat,” Worton does hit the note of individualistic sounds right on the head.
“I hope [people] feel good and go, “Wow, I like where you came from when you play that way.” There are a million guitar players out there and there’s very few I listen to and I go, that guy is really an individual, he has his own kind of style that appeals to me,” adds Worton. “I’m thankful for people to listen to it, and thankful for my wife and my family. It’s all relative and everybody likes a certain thing, but I think it’s about skill level and [putting] feeling into a certain song whatever that may be.”
“Jack Neat” is available to stream now on Spotify. To learn more information about Kit Worton and Right Touch Studios, visit righttouchstudios.com