Easily the biggest deal in the local music scene since Lola’s Saloon came along in 2006 was the opening several months ago of Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge. Hailed as a sort of Kessler West, the intimate and finely appointed Near Southside venue, restaurant, and bar started out hot but cooled quickly. With some exceptions, most of the touring acts that came through were little known to anyone outside the deepest inner-reaches of the national folk/singer-songwriter/Christian scenes. A couple of weeks ago, as first reported in town on Blotch, the venue and its in-house booking agent –– the person chiefly responsible for Live Oak’s preponderance of under-performing shows, Clint Simpson –– parted ways. Owner Bill Smith said he would seek another in-house booking agent but not interfere with his current “open-door policy” toward booking agencies.
While his door is still open, his search is over.
Smith has just hired Jamie Kinser and Aaron Knight, co-founders of the upstart Fort Worth booking agency Blackbox, to lead Live Oak’s booking.