Sadly, a good deal of "urban" West Texas is pretty suburbanized and not as much Wild West as some would like to think or believe. It's a place where people go to Olive Garden for Italian food instead of a mom and pop place that's much better. Similarly, radio is mostly Top 40 country.
However, the nice thing about the strength of the Texas music scene is that because of the strong live music circuit, sometimes independent artists actually make it onto the radio here. I credit 96.1 in Midland with breaking away from the Top 40 mold just enough to introduce me to Oklahoma-based band Turnpike Troubadours. It took a bit of searching to figure out who it was singing the song I kept hearing on the station, but I finally turned up that it was these guys.
The sound of this band is a little country, a little bluegrass, and a little rock, but the most important characteristic I hear in their sound is potential. They've got something really good going with their song "Every Girl," which you can hear on their Web site or their myspace. Personally it gets stuck in my head for the better part of a day after I've heard it.
The band looks like they tour pretty consistently around Oklahoma and Texas. Check out their latest album Diamonds and Gasoline if you like what you hear. I'm just getting acquainted with their material myself.
West Texas folks you can check out Turnpike Troubadours:
Oct. 9th at Hoot's Pub in Amarillo
Oct. 23 at the Blue Light in Lubbock
(Image credit Justin Voight from Turnpiketroubadours.com)