Steve Earle, born Stephen Fain Earle on January 17, 1955 in Fort Monroe, Virginia, USA, is a singer-songwriter, well known for his rock and country music, as well as for his political views. He plays Walon in The Wire. He is a guest star in the first, fourth, & fifth seasons. He has appeared in The Wire creator David Simon's other series Treme. His music has appeared in the series soundtrack and he provided the fifth season version of the theme song. He has been active since 1975 and has also appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Earle provided the fifth season theme song with his version of "Way Down in the Hole" and his song "Feel Alright" was featured as the music for the season 2 closing montage. Earle has a recurring role as drug counsellor Walon in series 1, 4 and 5 of The Wire.
Earle is also a published writer, a political activist and has written and directed a play. In his early career, he was seen as a savior of country music and labeled by some as the "new Bruce Springsteen". In the later part of his career, after troubles with the law and drug addiction and due to his uncompromising viewpoints, he has become known as "the hardcore troubadour". Like his character, Earle has a long involvement in twelve step programs and has been clean since 1994 when he was arrested on narcotics charges and spent the first month of his sentence in court-ordered rehab.