Sad news to report today: bass builder Tim Cloonan has passed away. The Philadelphia-based luthier owned and operated Callowhill Guitars, creating basses for some of the world’s top players including Tim Lefebvre, Dywane “Mononeon” Thomas, Owen Biddle, Derrick Hodge, Steve Jenkins, and more.
Cloonan was a guitar player that saw the need for better bass care. “I’m a guitar player (uh oh!) but ultimately decided to build basses because there is a huge number of extremely talented bass players in my area and no one around who could really help them out,” he said in an interview with GospelBassLines.com. “As a player, I started at a very early age and ended up getting a degree from Temple University in Jazz Performance for guitar. For me, the most influential aspect of developing my own style was listening to music. Plain and simple. After awhile I outgrew a need to categorize and judge players, I realized everyone had different strengths and weaknesses and I appreciate what the greats bring to the game.”
The bass community is mourning Cloonan via social media with posts by bassists and builders alike.
“RIP Tim Cloonan,” Lefebvre shared. “A good friend, incredible bass maker, thoughtful genius, and stand up guy. You will be missed for sure.”
“I’m very saddened to hear of the death of a good friend Tim Cloonan of CallowHill Guitars,” Nino Valenti wrote. “Words can’t describe how I feel right now.”
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Tim Cloonan.