Downtown Canon is one of my absolute favorite songs that Walter recorded. The lyrics really transport you to an emotional place even if you've never been in the narrator's shoes. The chords are complex in a way that really helps create a depth of feeling; they're not outright happy or outright sad, so the lyrics change how the same chords hit you as the song progresses. Walter's bouncy bass line with its muted thumping tone gives it an energy that is somewhat unsettling compared to the rest of the music. The bass keeps you on your toes and makes you feel a bit conflicted -- it's optimistic and weary at the same time. Going back to the lyrics, "I'm leaving with all I need, but less than I deserve" really showcases that feeling. Also, fun fact: the song on the album is actually pitched slightly sharp, about 13 cents, which catches your ear as well.
I spent some time really breaking this song down trying to figure out how to make it translate to playing it on a single instrument rather than having a full band of instruments add the color of the chords. My friend Chris figured out some of the chords, but it didn't sound quite right. I sat down at the piano and really broke it down chord by chord, looping each chord and playing with chord voicings to get the right approximation of what the song was trying to say. Once I finished, I realized that it was very similar to what my friend had come up with, but one different note in a chord here or there made a world of difference in how it felt. That really shows how meticulously crafted songs like this are.
I have attached a sheet just listing chord names, and I have also attached sheet music...
1) On the chord sheet, note that the chord names in the intro are not really accurate to the arpeggio pattern being played -- I decided it would be more confusing to try and list those chord names since it overall is just following the pattern of the second half of the chorus. The sheet music shows the individual notes to play.
2) The sheet music is not laid out in the most accurate way, it's just a guide. I used MuseScore to take a MIDI file I recorded of me playing the chords to generate the sheet music, and then I added some info to it. The measures, rests, etc. may not be accurate at all, so stick to just the notes to see how each chord is played, and you should be able to piece it together with the record.
3) The chords I listed are just simple block chords. Use them as starting points only! If you listen to what the Rhodes does in the recording, you'll see how other notes get thrown in for color, the voicings of the chords change as the song progresses, etc. It's jazzy music, don't be a stick in the mud, have fun with it!