Roberta Lea Transcends the Patriarchy in ‘Too Much of a Woman’

From the rollicking guitar riffs to its strident chorus, Roberta Lea’s ”Too Much of a Woman” is a blazing anthem of empowerment. Lea, one of the founding members of the Black Opry, is preparing to release her debut album, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter with an assist from Allison Russell and Brandi Carlile.

Russell, a proud Virginia lifer, specializes in songs that feel approachable and inviting. “Too Much of a Woman” speaks to the experiences of all too many women and femmes, pushing back against the double standards set by a society that expects 24/7 availability for whatever those in power desire.

“I’ve gotten the perspective from women all over the world about the battles they constantly face just because they simply exist,” Lea says. “Existing shouldn’t be a fight. But it has been for women for far too long.”

Originally released as an acoustic single on Bandcamp in March 2022, “Too Much of a Woman” was solely written and produced by Lea. The fully tracked version, premiering exclusively on The Boot today, features a who’s who of women and non-binary session musicians. Vanessa McGowan’s rhythmic bass line (bassist for Brandy Clark), Ellen Angelico’s smokey lap steel melodies (“all-things-strings” Nashville musician), Megan Jane’s tight and dirty drum patterns (Nashville based-drummer) and Jackie Venson’s electric whispers and killer guitar solo (rising Austin-based artist) lift Lea’s radiant performance into the stratosphere.

“The female experience creates an unspeakable tension that we can’t quite put our finger on when we’re young,” Lea tells The Boot. “The boys touching without our consent; the school dress codes because we’re ‘distracting,’ the wage gaps and the ‘tomato-gates.’ The frustration builds, and ‘Too Much of a Woman’ is a song that lets it all out.”

Listen below:

Named a 2022 Artist to Watch by The Boot, Roberta Lea is a recipient of the Color Me Country grant, a member of the Black Opry, and one of the newest inductees to CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2023. Her talents have already earned Lea an impressive list of awards and accolades, including her national television debut on The Kelly Clarkson Show. Fans can expect Lea’s debut album to arrive in the fall of 2023.

You can learn more about Roberta Lea’s music and find a list of upcoming tour dates at her official website.

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