Neither Vangauard records nor Skip James had high commercial expectations for Devil Got My Woman, when it was released in 1968. After all James’s superb debut, Today! sold poorly two years earlier, despite widespread critical praise. Interest in country blues was fading. In fact, by the time Devil Got My Woman made it to record stores, the album had all but disappeared.
What had happened, of course, was the birth of blues rock and the move by many traditional blues players to change their sound to sound more like the music of the times. The market for the blues was strong in the late sixties. Many rock fans, inspired by Paul Butterfields Blues Band, Cream, Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers Band, and other groups that built their sound from a solid blues foundation, embraced the blues with a new enthusiasm.
Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf played rock venues and rock festivals and recorded with rock musicians. Johnny Winter brought whit blues into the rock mainstream. B.B. King had a pop hit with “The Thrill Is Gone”.
About the only bluesmen not reaping the rewards of this new blues craze were the country artist whose music lacked the volume and thumping back beat heard in electric blues. Despite Cream’s remake of his song “I’m So Glad.” Skip James and Devil Got My Woman never really stood a chance of attracting hoards of rock fans in 1968, Skip James played the same kind of style on Devil Got My Woman that he did when he first recorded it for Paramount label back in 1931.