More changes are afoot at The Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge, the plush venue/bar/restaurant that recently opened on the Near Southside.

A month ago, Live Oak owner Bill Smith hired Jamie Kinser, co-owner and co-founder of Blackbox Presents booking agency and management company, to be his new in-house booking agent, replacing Clint Simpson. Yesterday, Smith fired her.

But Smith is moving on. Not only does Live Oak have an open-door policy in regard to booking agents, but two independent sources have corroborated that Smith recently met with Lance Yocom, owner and founder of Fort Worth-based Spune Productions, one of the largest independent booking agencies in North Texas. Spune books some of the hippest venues/events in North Texas –– including Lola’s Saloon and Club Dada –– and would seem a perfect fit for The Live Oak. If there’s one type of venue/event missing from Spune’s diverse roster, it’s the kind of high-dollar listening room represented by The Live Oak.


A message left with Yocom has not been returned, and Smith declined to comment, saying only, “What I can tell you is that we’ve got some pretty good shows coming up.”

Kinser also is moving on, saying that she and her fiancé, Blackbox co-owner/co-founder Aaron Knight, are in talks with three other North Texas venues, especially the forthcoming Arnetic, a massive events center on Race Street which Kinser believes can “easily hold 800 people,” she said.

“Once [Arnetic] gets national shows in there, that’s going to be the place,” she said.

Arnetic’s first show will be Friday, Sep. 28, with national act The Werks, Fort Worth mystical-rockers Katsuk, and Dallas’ Mora Collective. The venue’s official opening is planned for November.

Kinser also said that Blackbox may shift its business focus a little to the “artists’ side of things.” The company already manages local giants The Phuss, Holy Moly, and Kevin Aldridge, among others.

Kinser feels a little burned by The Live Oak but is not angry. “It was a pretty gnarly situation,” she said. “In reality I feel very relived to not be a part of it anymore, because they never gave me any control at all or even let me know what was going on financially, but I was expected to put my name on offers and contracts with agents.”

The Live Oak has a big local-friendly weekend planned, namely a two-night stint by former major-label signees and eternal homeboys Green River Ordinance (Saturday and Sunday). The local flavor will continue on Tuesday, when Fort Worth bossa nova stylists Los Noviembres celebrate the release of their debut album, The Great Iridescent Glory. The show is free and is part of the venue’s recently created Tuesday-night jazz series.


  1. Management is not the only change. The venue recently changed their hours of operation and ended the lunch menu and dining. Now open 7 Days Week. 4pm-2am (serving appetizers and limited bar menu on the roof until 1am) Chow for now.

  2. Alot of things are changing pretty quickly at the Live Oak. My wife and I went there on a Friday evening to have a drink and were very surprised that the place was a gourmet high dollar restaurant. We also noticed the awkwardness of the dining area and the entrance to the concert area. I’m sure diners were pissed when hundred of people were filing past to get to the music. We saw The Trishas there and it was wonderful. Our waiter was prompt and courtenous even though he had to snake his way through a bunch of tables. The only improvement I would make is relocate the venue entrance to the outside so you don’t have to wind your way dining tables.

  3. Serving a limited menu on the Roof is stupid. Not serving food in the showroom for seated table shows when I paid $140 for tickets is ridiculous. Yall have lost my business because of these two facts. Live Oak = LAZY and it all starts with the owner. Remember the customer is always right and telling me I cant do something then watch the owner pig out wherever he pleases chapped my hide.

    • Live Oak is still serving fine dining every evening in their dining room downstairs outside of the showroom and a limited bar menu on the roof. Open 7 days a week for dinner at 4pm, there is an incredible menu, chef and staff ready and waiting to serve you. The food is delicious and guaranteed to please even the most discerning tastes. This place is a class act.

      • It’s so obvious that you work there, who do you think you’re fooling? Ridiculous. You don’t just open a restaurant and call it “5 star”, that distinction must be EARNED. You’re almost as dumb as Bill