More than two decades after Greenhorn's initial break-up, the rare reunion show remains a cause for celebration - a trend the band members attribute, in part, to the youthful confidence with which they forged the music.

More than two decades after Greenhorn's initial break-up, the rare reunion show remains a cause for celebration - a trend the band members attribute, in part, to the youthful confidence with which they forged the music.

"I remember the days when Greenhorn first started playing and we had this sort of us against the world mentality," said guitarist Mark Spurgeon, who joined his brother, singer/guitarist Dan Spurgeon, for an early January interview at a Clintonville coffee shop. "We really believed in what we were doing … and when I remember the young man in me, I'm not surprised when people say, 'That song is so meaningful to me,' or, 'That song defines my experience at [now-defunct rock venue] Stache's.'

"Yeah, you're goddamn right it did, because we worked really hard to do that for ourselves, too. We believed in the music so much."

It's a belief as fused to Greenhorn's being as adamantium to Wolverine's skeleton, instilling the bandmates with an unwavering sense of how they wanted to present the music to the world. One time in the early '90s, for example, the musicians landed a gig on the bill at an after-hours party in Detroit and loaded up the Mothership - their nickname for the extended cab '82 Ford Econoline that served as touring partner and base of operations - for the three-plus-hour trek, only to turn around and drive home the same evening without playing a single note.

"We showed up at this abandoned storefront in a sort of residential area … and loaded all our stuff in, and these guys start freaking out, like, 'Is all of that your gear?' Well, yeah," said Dan, who will join his brother, along with bandmates and fellow siblings Pat McGann (drums) and Steve McGann (bass) for a reunion concert at Ace of Cups on Saturday, Jan. 23. "Apparently this was an illegal after-hours club … and they were like, 'You guys aren't going to be able to play anywhere close to that volume.' It was like, 'Alright, band meeting. What are we going to do here? We can't be less than we are. And this is what we are.' So we were like, 'Fuck it. We're packing up our stuff and going home.' And we did. And it was a defining moment for us, in a lot of ways."

From the onset, Greenhorn embraced volume as a fifth member of sorts - "It's a pretty visceral experience," said Dan, making reference to the stacks of Marshall amplifiers that tower behind the group like some sheer electronic cliff during concerts - though the songs often originated in more stripped-down form, like would-be campfire ballads, owning in part to the singer's long-held fascination with folk-leaning songwriters like Bob Dylan and Neil Young. "I want every song I write to be a Bob Dylan song," Dan said, laughing.

The push and pull between bandmates - Dan said he and Pat are the more traditionally inclined musicians in the group, while Mark and Steve tend toward the more experimental fringes - helped fuel its ferocious sound and stage show. "The friction helped us play it better, and play it louder," Mark said. The created pressure also placed something of a shelf life on Greenhorn, which first disintegrated in the mid-'90s, on the eve the members were set to sign a multi-album deal with Alias Records.

With those tensions long since forgiven - "I definitely was bitter for a period of time, but I harbor no bitterness now," Dan said - the bandmates are set to revisit those songs that singed the local scene with comet-heat for a five-year stretch beginning in the late '80s.

"There's a shared history that has made our bond strong," Mark said. "Not everybody in the band shares the same political beliefs [or] lifestyle choices, but the connection we feel when we plug in and play definitely transcends that. I don't think I've experienced that level of closeness or that level of understanding with any other band."