Expect some changes in programming at the Near Southside venue.

The beautiful new Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge and its in-house booking agent, Clint Simpson, have parted ways.

“Basically, it just wasn’t a good fit, and I think that [Simpson’s] forte is really managing bands on the road,” Live Oak owner Bill Smith said, referencing Simpson’s extensive Nashville experience. “Everything entailed at the music hall was different or more than he realized.

“That,” Smith continued, “and we just didn’t work well together.”


Musical taste, Smith said, may have been a point of contention between the two Fort Worth natives. Based on the national artists who have come through the Near Southside gem, Simpson prefers folky, middle-aged singer-songwriters who may or may not be outwardly Christian, an admittedly hard sell in edgy, progressive, local-music-crazed Fort Worth. In response, Smith began asserting his own tastes, personally or commercially inspired. Live Oak has begun hosting a free jazz night on Tuesdays, and Smith promises a blues jam on Sunday nights.

Local artists will play a more prominent role in Live Oak’s future, Smith said. The owner is cutting back the number of national acts to “maybe one or two a week instead of the three or four we were doing,” which, he continued, “will open the door to a lot of local artists.”

Easily two of the biggest bands in Fort Worth –– Telegraph Canyon Calhoun –– have already played the music hall, and more Fort Worth acts, including Quaker City Night Hawks and Green River Ordinance, are scheduled to perform over the next couple of months.

Smith said he’s excited about “this season,” adding that Live Oak will soon take on an in-house booking agent and its door will remain open to all booking agencies –– including some majors. “I’m not at liberty now to say their names,” Smith said.

Simpson could not be reached for comment.


  1. Wasnt a good fit??? Outwardly Christian? WTF??? What is Bill Smith talking about! Sniffed too much sawdust and drank too many craft beers it appears! Tons of the artists booked before Clint Simpson left were pretty progressive for Fort Worth and exactly what the Live Oak was advertised to bring to town when this was just a concept in motion. They wanted to differentiate themselves from the local scene and put national talent on it’s stage. Congrats, yall were doing fine on that one until now.

    That worked great I guess up until the point of Bill having to pay out bands to national standards. You cant just have a good travelling band play for the door like at his son’s ragtag TABC violation & health hazard of a venue aka the Where House.

    While every other bar in town has the same rotation of LOCAL bands playing every week, the Live Oaks was putting some great acts on it’s stage. Yah, so the jack & cokes are $6 and the Food is way OVERPRICED, to be expected. Unfortunately, he didnt count on the poor South Side residents to not come because of it. Good luck with the Rock crowd! Hope you have dollar beer night for those.

    Maybe you need to ADVERTISE better and MARKET shows better. Havent seen jack shit in the Weekly or DFW paper about the venue. Plus your ads in the weekly sucks. get with the program live oak….

  2. I’ve been to several shows at Live Oak since it opened. I admit I had wondered about the Christian undertone thing at a lot of the shows, but I also really enjoyed seeing some national talent come through, especially with the Nashville focus. Despite its reputation as the place that killed Country Music that turns a lot of people off, there are a lot of insanely talented musicians there. Same for Austin, of course. And same for here.

    But on local music, I’m have to say I disagree with the premise that that’s the only thing that’s going to sell here (which may or may not have been the implication of that one sentence). I love local music in Fort Worth. I love going to see local music in Fort Worth. But we’re long overdue for something else – maybe even two or three something elses – that bring something different. Ridglea is trying, and we’ll see what happens even though a certain councilmember seems to be bent on sealing its demise as a music venue, and Cendera….well, I just have to say that it would take a whole lot to make me want to drive all the way out there- Just my 0.02 as a FW resident who loves live music.

    Which is not to say that I don’t think they should have local music TOO, but if it were to become just another music venue in Fort Worth that either doesn’t want to or isn’t able to attract something from outside our humble though talent-rich burg, I have to say I’d be pretty disappointed.

  3. wow – what a bunch of crap this is. so instead of being one of the only venues in fort worth to host touring national bands the dude want to focus on showcasing more local “talent”?? nice knowing you live oak…so now we can see telegraph canyon one night at lolas and the next night at live oak while road bands just drive on east to dallas to play their shows. fort worth – WAKE THE &%$# UP. this is NOT new york. nor is it LA. its barely even houston and will never be austin. IT SUCKS HERE and EVERYONE else outside of the “817” knows it. you only love it because you live here and have limited options but trust me – touring bands really had no interest in playing fort worth anyway (i am reminded of the last time the supersuckers played at lolas to a crowd of maybe 30 people TOPS while the year before there were a couple of hundred huddled inside to see them play in dallas)
    get off your high horse live oak – the last thing the fort needs is another place for local bands to play.

  4. I agree. As a music fan, I feel that Fort Worth needs a classy listening room for groundbreaking, ultra-hip, mid-level touring acts like Fleet Foxes, Dawes, and (all the way from Denton) Midlake and that Live Oak can fit the bill. For fans of traditional folk and/or Nashville-tinged pop, there’s The Stockyards.

  5. Fort Worth does have one of the largest population of Christian churches in the country. Looked like Simpson knew what he was doing! With him out of the picture, I WILL REIGN SUPREME IN DESTROYING SOUTHSIDERS SOULS! MUAHAHA

  6. What does MUAHAHA mean?

    Also, what does “Simpson prefers folky middle-aged singer-songwriters who may or may not be outwardly Christian” mean. When I am “outwardly Christian” and play my music, I do so nailed to some big wooden beams and then show off my stigmata if they applaud loud enough. When I am “not” outwardly Christian I lean toward Zoroasterism or maybe do some Whirling Dervish thingy with a weird hat. Big difference between “may” or “may not”.

    Maybe that’s what Live Oak needs to make it. Whirling Dervish night every Wednesday. That would put the FW southside on the map.

  7. Muahaha refers to the sound one makes while laughing with evil intent. Imagine a sinister looking man, twirling the end of his mustache with his fingers, and laughing insanely: “mmmwahahahaha”

  8. Prez:

    What is “evil intent?” It is very vague and any explanation of it will encompass some assumptions that the person judging the evil intent will have to wade through. I have had evil intent many times in my life, but have never made that sound or twirled the end of my mustache with my fingers. So as we live now in this world, as we currently know and define it, I would judge with intellectual superiority that you tone-deaf minions reading this while engaged in mental masturbation cannot judge what “evil intent” is or if it even exists.

    However, “laughing insanely” is easily defined. That would be Lu-Lu on Hee-Haw.

  9. This is very upsetting because of what is being traded, integrity. I seriously doubt that this is what was initially pitched to investors. I was exited about a venue that supported the experience of being alive as a buisness model, not drinks and draw. I finally felt like a had a home for my life’s work. This is very upsetting.

  10. “In order to create art you must first create the artist. Then the creation process is a natural believable extension of who that person is. Some say that it’s the responsibility of the artist to promote a positive outlook to his fellow man, asking people to choose to be happy. Though this may seem best, I believe it to be false and hindering to the human experience. If the artist has any responsibility it would be to relate the human experience honestly and passionately with his/her chosen medium. This doesn’t mean that an artist has to suffer in order to create, but it does mean that he/she has to experience suffering honestly when it comes into their lives. This is, of course, counterproductive to the majority of people living day to day. This is why artistry takes a certain measure of autonomy. People do not need art expressing normative behavior or feelings. They have them everyday. They need artistic experiences that help their understanding of what it means to be human in deep ways. Or, to at least view life in a different way. The deeper the touch the more effective the art and the artist. Now back to where I started, to create art you must create the artist. This means that a life of deep, honest, living is necessary in order to create. To the point that creation itself is a deep and honest experience, fulfilling itself in a circle, in an all at once beautiful and often tragic way.”

    This is very upsetting.


  11. D. Anson, I understand your point. But for a place to stay open in this day and age, draw and bar sales are necessary.

  12. As a neighbor and friend of the Live Oak, it’s a shame that Clint’s name is getting a bad rep for what’s going on there with music. He was hired for his experience and his contacts, and thats what he used. I know before doors were even opened his blood, sweat, and tears were already invested in the Live Oak. He deserves credit for what he has done….