As an artist, Jacob Acosta of Mason has crossed genres and brought new sounds.
This is how he and his bandmates have approached their newest album, “My Kind of Trouble,” which will be released Friday, Sept. 9.
They’ll celebrate the same night with a show at Hotel Congress with Arizona Blues Hall of Fame harmonica player Tom Walbank.
“My Kind of Trouble” was recorded at Tucson’s Waterworks Studio, mixed by Chris Robinson and mastered by Jason Livermore at the Blasting Room Studios.
Many of the songs on the album were recorded live, although mixed to sound like a studio album. Acosta is a huge proponent of recording music live.
“I feel like that’s something that’s really powerful these days at shows, to be able to play as well as the album sounds or better,” Acosta said.
“If you listen to the recording, you will hear the cymbal count in here just lightly in the background. This is like how they did in the old days. They would roll in the studio, knock out 10 or 11 tracks, and then they were on the market.”
The first album had a blues rock vibe, blending ’60s and contemporary sounds and paying tribute to Robert Johnson with its focus on storytelling.
Acosta said “My Kind of Trouble” taps into surf, reggae and progressive/alternative.
“Sometimes, we sound like Led Zeppelin. Sometimes, we sound like George Thorogood. It just depends on where we wanted to go,” Acosta said.
“This new one is a lot more diverse. It’s almost like listening to The Jimi Hendrix Experience where song to song, they have different feelings. Even though we still keep to the blues, there’s a lot of different styles in the album.”
The group also recently dropped its music video for “Electric Kisses,” which is meant to empower women.
“‘Electric Kisses’ is an illusion to, ‘Hey, you think you’re a tough man here. Watch out here comes a woman who will blow your mind and run things.’ It’s a little bit of look what’s coming. Things are going to change. That’s my hope. Let’s pay attention to all the amazing people that exist,” Acosta said.
Another song called “Hey Sally” honors Acosta’s grandmother.
“She was probably one of the most loved and respected people in my family,” Acosta said.
“She was the matriarch… She took care of six kids on her own. She helped raise me. So, it’s a song that’s an ode to her and her spirit.”
Many of the songs on this album are meant to leave audiences with a positive, cathartic feeling.
“There’s a lot of things on this new album that allude to having fun, enjoying the playfulness of life, whether it’s romantic, whether it’s throwing caution to the wind,” Acosta said.
“My Kind of Trouble” is the follow up to 2017’s full-length collection “Midnight Road.”
Mason is led by Acosta on vocals and guitar and also features drummer Andre Gressieux and bass player Barry Young.
Acosta has played with Gressieux since 2009 in different bands.
The group recorded its first album with Jason Allen on bass. He will perform with the band during the release show on backup guitar.
Acosta said Young, who is inspired by The Beatles, has brought a different sound to the band.
“I think he added a new element with a lot of cool bass pedals. You will notice that in our group, me and him do a lot of pedal work to get a lot of cool, different sounds,” Acosta said.
Generally, Acosta will do the initial arranging, but the whole group will work together on music. He said that they are all open, creative and committed to creating the best music possible.
“It’s something that I’ve always loved with the musicians I’ve worked with. We don’t take it personally if it’s like, ‘I don’t know if that riff’s working. Let’s try this.’ We actually try to build great songs. That’s something I try to install culture-wise in the groups that I work with,” Acosta said.
Mason started his career in 2015 as more of an alternative rock band but around 2017 switched to more of a blues-rock style.
“It was too cerebral. It was Tool meets Foo Fighters. Rock has changed a bit. People want something more accessible, more familiar. I knew with blues, in America, there’s a big blues history,” Acosta said.
With Mason, Acosta has stretched himself as a musician, doing more lead playing and soloing.
Acosta has been with different groups, including the indie rock/shoegaze band Race You There and the acoustic rock trio Roll Acosta.
He has now recorded 16 studio albums in indie-shoegaze, blues rock, pop, house, Americana and folk styles, both under his own name and with bands.
Other bands he has performed with include Mason, Burning West and HYTS.
He has collaborated with Jody Wisternoff, Sasheen, David Hohme and Desert Raven.
Acosta has sung in Spanish, German, Latin and French, and done throat singing. He has also created jingles for FOX, ESPN and Ford.
Acosta says that as an artist, he is constantly evolving and taking his music in different directions.
During his career, he has gone on three national and eight coastal/West Coast tours.
The artist started in music in third grade. He played the tenor saxophone through high school.
While in college in New Jersey, he picked up the guitar and started singing and writing his own songs.
His main instruments are guitar, piano and saxophone, but he has also played trumpet and timpani on albums.
After playing music for most of his life, Acosta continues to have passion for and pursue his music. He also works in real estate, which helps to support his musical endeavors.
The upcoming release party will be more of production, with a photographer and videographer.
The band members plan to dress in psychedelic ’70s-themed clothing. Acosta will wear shiny red shoes and a rainbow-colored, fish-scaled jacket.
“As long as you perform well, everything matches up. People buy into it a little bit more,” Acosta said.
After the live performances, a DJ will play for audiences.
Acosta said that with the show, he wanted to create more of a national tour feel.
“I’ve done this so long now that I understand it’s all about the experience, the party, the connection with the audience,” Acosta said. “It’s a different market. You have to be a little more visual, paying more attention to people’s wants and desires when it comes to culture and art.”
Mason’s “My Kind of Trouble” Release Party
WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9
WHERE: Hotel Congress Plaza Stage, 311 E. Congress Street, Tucson
COST: $8 in advance online; $10 at the door