Herbert Joseph Ludwig 1947 - 2005

 Portland, ME - Herbert Joseph Ludwig, 58, attorney, singer, songwriter and poet, died unexpectedly Monday in a local hospital.


  Herb Ludwig was a  prodigiously talented singer, songwriter, poet, lawyer and member of Devonsquare, the Maine and New Hampshire based folk-rock ensemble. As a senior at Cheverus High School in 1965, Herb and his classmates Jeff Rice and Steve Romanoff formed The Devonsquare Trio named after a neighborhood street (Devonshire) and square (Fessenden). The group transformed several times over the next 40 years with Herb’s most current trio of Alana MacDonald and Tom Dean remaining together for over 29-years and recording five albums, two with Atlantic Records under the tutelage of the legendary Ahmet Ertegun. To the present, Devonsquare enjoyed faithful fans from Maine to New York City, often performing in Boston and Greenwich Village and receiving accolades from artists as diverse as Aztec Two-Step, Melanie Safka, and Allen Ginsburg. Devonsquare was renowned for their unique arrangements, lyrics, and exquisite vocals.

  For over thirty years he practiced law in South Portland, first with the firm of Nisbet, MacNichol & Ludwig and later with friend and fellow musician, Thomas Dyhrberg. He often defended clients who had few resources but knew they could depend upon Herb’s compassion, generosity and integrity. He was a respected member of the bar who enjoyed great camaraderie with his colleagues.

   Herb LudwigHerb was a man of many passions: art, poetry, travel, cuisine and baseball, which he considered an art form. His love of art extended to an appreciation of architecture which he shared with longtime friend Neil Martin. Together, they bought and managed several Victorian buildings in the West End over the last three decades, making a conscious effort to maintain their architectural integrity. As a testimony to the value he placed on their partnership, he often said, “Thirty years, and never a harsh word.”

  Herb engendered strong and deep friendships. He valued intellect and imagination. His intellectual curiosity led to eclectic friendships that blended in harmonies that no one expected. He was acutely aware of our ephemeral existence, often exhorting friends to join him in play, saying, “We’re only here for a minute.” In 1987, he married Ann Skelton, M.D. with whom he shared his love of life and their many good friends.

  "Herb was a best-friend," said Steve Romanoff of Schooner Fare, " the very definition of ‘a friend indeed.’ In your life you might be lucky enough to have one or two such friends upon whom you can count on for literally anything. Herb was that kind of friend...to many people, and he inspired people to want to be that kind of friend in return."

  "Herb's passion for life was contagious" said Tom Dean of Devonsquare. "If you spentHerb Ludwig enough time around him you couldn't help but share his enthusiasm for music, food, friends, art, laughter, family, baseball, poetry, golf or any of the other things he was passionate about.
Herb, Alana and I spent many many hours writing music together. He was at his most passionate when it came to this. He was never satisfied with himself or us, nor should he have been. He knew instinctively when something was right. Whether that something was a melody, a lyric, a guitar part or a harmony. He loved it when it was right. You could tell because he would literally jump right out of his seat. I don't have words to describe how much I miss him and always will."

  Born in New Brighton, Beaver Valley, Pennsylvania, son of William “Red” and Thelma “Tillie” Nisbet Ludwig, Herb moved to Maine in 1964 and entered Chevrus High School as a senior, Herb Ludwiggraduating summa cum laude in 1965. He graduated from Boston College in 1969 and Boston College Law School in 1972. He is survived by his wife Ann Skelton of Old Orchard Beach, his mother Thelma (Tilly) Ludwig and brother Thomas Ludwig of South Portland, and sister Nancy Ludwig Pease of Winthrop, and beloved nephews Joseph and Jared Lemieux and Jesse and Maxwell Ludwig and niece Danielle Pease.