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Bitch at Us: James Harrison and Emma Lynn White of “James and Emma”

Washington, DC
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James Harrison and Emma Lynn White met each other in Nashville while they were both writers at the same publishing company. After sharing their love of music and songwriting, they discovered that their complementary musical styles and voices would also make them the perfect performing duo.

They decided to take their act, James and Emma, out on the road and landed on the East Coast this summer, playing shows in numerous cities. The pair performs their own original music, as well as covers of some of their favorites. Song writing is still their passion, however; with their main aspiration being to hear their songs performed by other artists. They will head back to Nashville this fall to bring this aspiration to life.

Luckily for us, we are getting the chance to see them perform live at our Fall Brunch Feast happening at Longview Gallery on September 20. The autumnal event will feature fall fare and cocktails by Heirloom Catering, a South Moon Under pop-up, gift bags, and, of course, live music. Tickets are available here.

James and Emma 1


You were both writers at the same publishing company. How did you both decide you wanted to make the move to being performers?

James: Well it’s funny, our main goal is still to be song writers. We have dreams of hearing our songs on the radio sung by other people. Basically, we’re trying to be song writers because we love doing it. Having a life of being famous isn’t the life for us. We’d love to write a song and still go to the grocery store and not get mobbed. We never expected this to get as big as it did, and we’ve met awesome people and seen so many cool places, which has been a big plus. It’s not just about the money.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Emma: One of mine is definitely Keith Urban. I’ve been listening to him since I was little girl so I know every song by him.

James: I was raised on a lot of the older country, so I like Alan Jackson and stuff like that. Although, I’ve been kind of going on a 90’s country kick lately.

You met each other in Nashville. How did you decide to come to Richmond?

Emma: Well, we still live Nashville, but this whole summer, we’ve been traveling around playing shows on the East Coast because you don’t really make money in Nashville.

James: Over the summer, it seemed more convenient to make a hub in Richmond because we’ve been spending a lot of time doing shows on the East Coast. Emma is originally from Glen Allen, so we ended up making it our base over the summer as opposed to Nashville.

James and Emma 2


Who would be your dream artist to perform with?

Emma: Keith Urban!

James: Mine would be James Taylor.

We’re so excited to have you celebrate the beginning of fall with us at brunch. What are some of your favorite things about the season?

Emma: We’re not really coffee drinkers so that eliminates a lot, but I love the changing of the leaves. It’s always so beautiful. The temperature is also great. I can deal with fall, but I can’t deal with winter.

James: We’ll be able to catch up with family and that will be really fun. Cooking in the fall is also one of my favorite parts.

Do you have any other events in the D.C. area we should know about?

Not yet. Yours is actually our first one!

What is your favorite dish to cook for brunch?

James: Emma makes the best scrambled eggs on the planet, so that is brunch for me. We recently had a great Eggs Benedict made by a friend but, for the most part, Emma’s scrambled eggs would be fine with me. Maybe with avocado.

Emma: Yes, definitely with avocado.

James and Emma 3


What brunch item do you have to order if it’s on the menu?

Emma: I love fish, so anything with fish on it. I think an omelet would be good too with a bunch of veggies. I’m a vegetarian.

James: The only item I can’t resist is a waffle with strawberries and whipped cream.

Emma: Yes! Wait, why didn’t I think of that? A waffle with strawberries.

Do you prefer Bloody Marys or mimosas?

James: For me, it’s probably a Bloody Mary.

Emma: A mimosa for me, for sure.

If you had to invite a group of local celebrities to brunch, who would they be?

James: You’re going to get two very different answers from both of us. I’d say Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm and Johnny Depp.

Emma: I’d pick Hugh Laurie from House and the scientist Neil Degrasse Tyson. I’ll take them to brunch.

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