Part guitar shop, part concert venue and wholly unique, Ohio Music Shop in downtown Kent is changing the way music stores do business. “It wasn’t our intention to have the most unique guitar store around,” said co-owner Jeff Fulkman. “It’s just what we’ve become.” Since opening a year ago, Ohio Music Shop has expanded from a small boutique to a 4,000-foot musician’s paradise featuring a concert stage, bar and huge array of vintage equipment, amplifiers, custom effects pedals and custom-made Woody James guitars. James, a co-owner, is no stranger to the music business. His passion began when, as a young musician, he learned how to fashion his own stage electronics by hand. “When I first started you had to build your own stuff,” he said. “If you wanted a cabinet amp you went out, bought the wood and put the speakers in.” James’s skill eventually gave birth to his custom effects pedal business, Old School Effects, and then to building custom guitars. “I started building guitars for luminaries,” said James, pointing to a row of black-and-white photographs of him shaking hands with his legendary clients. “Stephen Stills, Joe Walsh, Ted Nugent and David Crosby,” he rattles off. “Eventually I decided to build guitars for the common man.” Still, although James now offers 22 models for casual and professional musicians, he’s not done building for the pros. He’s currently finishing two custom acoustic guitars for Neil Young. James labors in the workshop while customers browse the merchandise. “We do everything in house, meaning we design, assemble, paint, construct and repair our custom guitars,” James said. “If I sell you one of my guitars, I’m going to take care of it for you. I’ll tune the guitar just for you; it’s going to fit the customer like a glove.” Aside from the photos, the shop’s walls are also covered with dozens of custom creations, including a machine-gun guitar built for Nugent. “I wanted the guitar back after he took it on tour,” James said. The gun guitar is one of three in existence, and the shop also displays rarities, including a sitar from India. Ohio Music Shop is also headquarters of Reil Young, a Neil Young tribute band, which practices on the in-house stage. James leads the band with Fulkman on keyboard; they’ll be headlining Lock 3 on June 17 this summer.